malcolm marler

on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Month: March 2013

Accepting the Gift

Open HandsThe best way to learn how to care for others is to say thank you when this sacred gift is offered to you.

But so often we miss the opportunity to learn this skill because we say, “Thank you for offering, but I’m fine.”

We have cut off the lesson in mid-sentence, and the seed with so much potential to grow and transform our lives, and others, falls onto the hard packed dirt and is lost forever.

But if we will take a deep breath, swallow our pride, and understand that this is indeed a sacred gift, then we can respond with, “Thank you, I appreciate that.”

Then we will learn what it feels like to be loved, cared for, and we  won’t be able to keep it to ourself any longer.

The world needs us to accept the gift of this precious seed into the soil of our hearts so that we can share the fruits with others.  

I am thankful to so many of you who have offered me these seeds of hope.

Let us pass it on.  Pass it on.

Still a Challenge

Flight from DCA to BHMAs much practice as Mary Bea and I have had putting one another on planes the last two years, one would think that it would get easier.

For the record, it does not.

I am not complaining because we chose this path together. But I must be honest as we look towards finishing the second of three years, it does not get easier.

We believed that when we visited Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA just outside of DC, that it was exactly where she was supposed to be. We both “knew” that VTS would be where she would get a 3 year Master of Divinity degree as part of her path to becoming an Episcopal priest. We decided together.

At the same time, we also believed I was to stay in Birmingham as the new Director of Pastoral Care at a hospital because I also felt called to be here as well.

Some may have thought we were foolish, but we have made our relationship a priority and have called, written, texted, Skyped, and gotten on airplanes as often as possible. And sometimes I wondered if we were foolish.

In the past, I remember times when I believed if I chose the right thing to do it was supposed to get easier.  That hasn’t been my experience.

Thankfully we have been given some hope and light recently.

Mary will finish a semester early in December 2013. This past week, we both met with our Commission on Ministry, Standing Committee, and Bishop and have been told we are on track for ordination as Episcopal priests. This encouragement has arrived like a fresh drink of water to parched lips.

When have you chosen what you believed was the right thing to do, and it got harder?

My prayer for you is that God will give you hope when you need it most, some light for your journey as well. You can do it. Stand firm.

May God’s peace and strength be yours.

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