A Heart of Release
Almost every day I hear about people who have left our community, how they are doing, how happy they are, and how they, with the sincerest of intentions, invite others to go with them. I am happy that they are happy. I really am. I'm trying to have a large heart about this. It is not easy.
I have decided to be free, releasing and open toward all people and their relationships to me and to our community. I believe that Love is that way. And I want to love all living beings without partiality. The gospels portray Jesus as a liberating person. He allowed others to determine how they would relate to him. If they wanted to be close and intimate, he received that with an open heart. Like the woman who kissed his feet and washed them with her perfume and tears. But he also allowed people to follow him from a distance, or to follow him just to get their next meal. It doesn't mean he didn't speak his mind about it. He expressed his disappointment when his friends fell asleep when he was in anguish in the garden. He wept over Jerusalem when they would not receive him. And while he was completely liberating by letting others determine how close they would be to him, he informed them of what the costs or benefits were to the positions they chose in relation to him. Like, if you want to sit at my right hand, can you drink this cup? Or if you want to follow me, it will mean taking up your cross. Or, if you choose to be distracted by your possessions, you might miss the banquet. Or, if you drink from me, rivers of living water will flow out of you. So, while he was releasing toward others, he was not na√Øve as to what their choices would mean for them.
I will be liberating. I will be entirely releasing toward others. Others can set the boundaries and distances between themselves and me and our community. They are free to come in and go out and find pasture. If they want to call our church their church and never come, that's fine. If they want to go to different churches, that's fine. If they want to come every week and not involve themselves in any other way, that's fine. If they want to give, that's fine. If not, that's fine too. If they want to come to everything and get totally involved, that's fine. If they want to see me personally one on one every week on top of all their involvement, that's fine. I will be open, liberating and releasing. I will love fully, no matter how they respond or relate to that. My heart will not grow calloused, bitter, resentful, ambitious or jealous. I will love all without partiality and without self-interest.