A common prayer in the Maggie’s Place community is “For Peace, Unity, and Adaptability in our homes and in our hearts.” It’s a prayer that goes to the heart of how to have a thriving community life. When we are in the midst of hard community change, we toss around jokes about being “nimble” as a way of trying to remain light-hearted. Staying calm (carry on!); staying connected; and staying open to change—this goes a LONG way in bringing love into our common life together.
This month, we are throwing simplicity into the mix of things.
One of the things that our MissionCorps members usually learn during their time of service is that they have a lot to receive from the moms. Our new year-long volunteers arrive ready and eager to serve…and then, realize that they learn just as much, if not more, by being served by the moms. They come to understand that the mutual relationship of give and take opens up the possibility of really authentic relationships.
Another lesson of sharing a community life with the moms is that the staff members have an awful lot in common with the moms. Life experiences may have been dramatically different but in reality, the human experience wanting to be special, being angry about unjust things, experiencing the disappointments of life, and wanting to know that we are lovable…both moms and staff have those in common.
At a recent candlelight ceremony, our departing MissionCorps member said, with tears in her eyes, “I learned how to love here. Before I came, I thought I knew how to love but now I KNOW that I know how to love.”
Life is about learning to love and be loved. It really is that simple.