In the spirit of catching up, here is a response to the prompt from December 8.
Beautifully Different: Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
Maybe the full spectrum of the reflection on this prompt can be something I can revisit at a later time -- ALL the things that make me different seem like they could take forever, although I know that I am not *that* different from other people in the Universe.
What came to mind when I read this, especially in answering the question "what you do that lights people up" is that I truly try to see each person as an individual, and think about the way that they are each a unique Child of God, and what that means for them. There are theories, of course, in systems thinking, and in premarital counseling, and in bereavement work, etc etc, but when it comes down to it, everything is on a case-by-case basis when you're dealing with human beings, is it not?
I feel like the times in my ministry when I've been most challenged have been when I've been trying to decide what to do in a given circumstance where I wish there were just a blanket rule that I could follow, but these have also been the times when I have had to dig deep, in terms of following my intuition, drawing on my training, praying deeply to God for help, and relying on the wisdom of the people themselves to tell me what to do.
This is the way that I feel I am beautifully different, in my ministry and as an ordinary human being.