Circle-ness and Clarity of Call

I like circles.  I’ve been in a lot of circles in my life.  Prayer circles and introduction circles and meeting circles and massage circles and classroom circles and once in a circle of kayaks in Frenchman Bay.

We sat in a lot of circles at General Assembly.  And stood.  And sang and discussed and prayed and… pretty much anything you can do in a circle we did.  Circles of a couple hundred people, excited and engaged and inspired, and circles of just two, hands held in prayer or silence or just space.

For the opening young adult worship we did a spiral dance into the space, holding hands and circling in tighter and tighter and then spiraling back out before sitting, the whole time singing.

Spiraling into the center
The center of our soul
Spiraling into the center
The center of our soul
We are the weavers, we are the woven ones
We are the dreamers, we are the dream
We are the weavers, we are the woven ones
We are the dreamers, we are the dream

At the closing youth and young adult worship at General Assembly we sat in a circle; in a lot of concentric circles, actually, some folks on chairs, most on the floor.  The mood was less excited and expectant, at least for me, and more somber with the realization it was already almost over.  I was sad to be leaving, I knew reentry would suck, and I knew that fact would be hard to explain to friends.  As part of worship we were supposed to take one of these poorly-quartered pieces of paper from the floor and write down what we were going to bring back from General Assembly.  I actually thought it was kind of dumb when it was announced.  It seemed to break the spirit of worship but, figuring it was meaningful for some, I went ahead and jotted something down.  I didn’t put a huge amount of thought into it, though it was not without intention or meaning.  I put the paper in the middle of the room with the rest.

At the end of the service we were to pick up one of the papers in the middle and bring that home with us.  I grabbed one, started making evening plans, and then opened it as I walked out of the room.  Scrawled in messy all caps were seven statements.


Clarity of Call.

More Compassion. 

Sense of Place. 

Grief Shared. 

Grief Held.



In that whole “interdependent web” sense we recognize that every actions has an effect on every other action which has an effect on every other action and so-on to infinity.  But there’s the idea of knowing that in theory, or in past practice, and then there’s what happens when it walks up and slaps you in the face with how oblivious you are.

Vision.  My ability to see and interpret and acknowledge and express.

Clarity of Call.  I will go into ministry.  The form that will take remains unknown, but I will.

More compassion.  For people and their spiritual journeys and for  what I cannot comprehend.

Sense of place.  I belong here.

Grief shared.  Though prayer and song and meetings and worship and that love of community.

Grief held.  The pain of others taken on that I may lessen and help or simply be with another.

Understanding.  Just a bit more comprehension than I used to have, and the understanding that there’s always so much more out there to learn, see, do, change, love, worship, hold, be.

Thank you to whoever wrote those words.  On the off chance that you happened to read this post AND you want to reveal yourself, I’d love to know who it was.  But know I appreciate you, and your ability to articulate my mind better than I was, and your willingness to open yourself to a small piece of paper, and for the simplistic beauty of your words.

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