Sunday, April 15, 2007

Practicing the Spirit-Empowered Life

Read John 14:15-17, 25-26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15

Reflection Question: Have you ever had an advocate, someone who pleaded your case before an arbitrator or a referee - or a parent or a teacher? What did he or she do for you?

6 comments:

Lori said...

Nancy, thanks for your persistence in keeping this moving. It seems we've all hit a bit of a busy spot in the road, but I know I speak for myself, at least, that the longing to continue this conversation remains strong. Thank you all again for the ways in which you have challenged me to become more who God has made me to be.

I finally got to read this Scripture this morning, and I found it beautiful in a whole new way. It brings God so near, in such a comforting, hopeful sort of way.

I don't have many memories of anyone advocating on my behalf, with the exception of my wonderful husband--and mostly, he's advocating for me to me! He intervenes before my insecurities, my fears, my ridiculous self-questionings and reminds me of who I am, and what he sees in me that he values. I must admit, I hadn't before realized how he mirrors God in this way--God, too, sends the spirit of truth, the comforter, to still the crazy voices in my head and remind me that I am God's daughter, that God loves me and chooses to be with me. What a lot to be grateful for!

Amy said...

Nancy, I also appreciate your perseverence! I guess it is a bit of a busy seaon (my parents spent last week here...my mom got a job and they're moving out here in June...hurray!

I had a difficult time thinking of someone who was an advocate for me when I initially read it over. I couldn't think of anyone. But, as I read it over today, a youth pastor of mine came to mind. I had just entered 7th grade and thus also just entered the youth group. The youth pastor was Randy Lemon and he had just started a leadership training program and asked me to join. Let me just say that I was very, very shy. But, Randy encouraged me, helped me step out and eventually begin to see and use a part of me I didn't know existed. We moved away the next year and in the following 2 years lived in 3 other states. I know that my experience in that youth group and the encouragement I received there made the next few years so much better than they would have been otherwise.

Jemila Monroe said...

I struggled long and hard with this question..actually I've been avoiding it, which is why I haven't responded. And then it occurred to me that it's the most obvious person in the world: My husband has been my advocate to my parents at times.

Nancy said...

Beautiful words from each of you as you described your "advocates". Thanks for sharing.

I'm thinking the closest thing to an advocate I have ever had (outside of my husband...I share the sentiments here) was a pastor from my old faith community who took a stand for me during a rough time. He was not always sure of what he was doing and how to best be of help but I felt under a shield and really appreciated it.

Kate said...

Hi Everyone,

I'm still here. A new job, a trip to Europe....life has been rather hectic....not focusing on the contemplative tradition at all! Bad Kate!

In reading your comments, it seems that we all share the gift (although in my case one often over-looked) of a supportive husband. We are lucky women.

Reading your comments I was also convicted of how little I advocate for my husband, and probably how little I advocate for my marriage.

I can make lame excuses about a busy, working-mom lifestyle, church committments, marital troubles,balancing families in two continents, tiredness etc. I assume that my husband understands.

I know that wasn't really the answer to the posted question, but its what came to mind.

Jemila Monroe said...

A trip to Europe -- what kind of trip?

Kate, I appreciate your bringing up the matter of being an advocate for others, including those we easily take for granted.

I celebrate with you that so many of us in this group are blessed with supportive partners. Yet the fact that most of us had some difficulty locating an advocate outside our spouses points I think to a weakness in Christ's body.

Perhaps if we have an eye for appreciating the small moments where someone advocates on our behalf, we can also have an eye for making ourselves available to advocate in small ways for others as well.