Fear, triumph, trust, compassion, victory, failure, births, sobriety. Maggie’s Place is full of lots of hard, lots of messy things. Amidst it all, one thing is overwhelmingly true for life at Maggie’s Place: the call to encounter each other in every circumstance.

I wasn’t expecting how difficult it would be not to shy away from the encounter. How uncomfortable it is to encounter someone in their brokenness and not be able to fix it.

So many of us come into community with scars and hurts that still need mending. We long for someone to see us, scars and all, and still want to journey on at our side.

When encountering a mom especially, I am reminded of the encounter that Mary and Elizabeth shared during the Visitation. It can’t have been an easy journey for Mary to get to Elizabeth. Both must have been longing for companionship. That longing for a friend must have felt similar to the feeling that led us all to Maggie’s Place. We long to be known in authentic community.

Each authentic encounter that we share with another person points us to the deepest reality of our existence: that Christ is the only one who can mend our brokenness. It is in humble encounter with him where we lay down our brokenness and trust that he picks up the pieces.

This radical trust is something I am only beginning to understand. It is so difficult to release control to someone other than myself, but it is so crucial to the health of community. I pray to have this trust to show up to every encounter and sing the Magnificat in my daily life.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Luke 1:46-55

By Elizabeth Ortlepp, a MissionCorps