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A Sacrificial Love: Awakening Courage in the Midst of Fear"

by Trista Wynne

Title: A Sacrificial Love: Awakening Courage in the Midst of Fear

Narrative

This week, Trista shares a story from last week of her own awakening to the powerful awareness of Sacrificial Love potential inside of her. She challenges us to courageously consider what we are willing to lay down in order to bring forth the energies of Love, Healing, Blessing and Reconciliation in these very difficult times.

Opening Prayer

Beloved, we come to you with humble hearts, inviting your Spirit to dwell within us. Search our hearts and help us to know ourselves inside and out. Help us to know that we are hereto bring forth healing, to be a blessing to our people, and to bring forth benefit to all of Your Creation, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Scripture Readings

Main Scripture Text

Gospel: John 15:12-17 (NRSV)

This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Old Testament Text

Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV)

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

New Testament Text

Ephesians 6:12 (NRSV)

For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual force of evil in the heavenly places.

A Sacrificial Love:

Awakening Courage in the Midst of Fear

by Trista Wynne

One can imagine that one is capable of standing up to injustice, willingly giving themselves up as a human shield to protect, valuing others more than self. Not everyone has been given the opportunity to live into this imagination of their potential. This past week, I had such an opportunity.

A man, disheveled and disconnected from his inner light, entered the little studio in Troutdale where I was taking a beginners’ oil painting class to “brush up” on my skills. Although I have painted for over two decades, it has been almost ten years since oils were used as my medium, so when a safely distanced class nearby was advertised as starting up, I found myself leaping at the opportunity to create with people again. No one could have prepared me for the experience we would have in our second class together.

In our little art studio with me was our teacher, her 15-year-old daughter, my classmate (a young lady who was, on this day, celebrating her 10th birthday), and her momma. When the man entered the door behind me, at first we thought nothing of it. He was just looking for something. But when he did not leave and began asking strange questions, our concern began to rise. We paid more attention, noticing everything. And when his demeanor suddenly switched to something incredibly dark, and he brought out a gun from behind his back, all that was in our core being was activated.

When I saw the weapon aimed at the little girl and her momma crouching on the floor, I instinctively leapt up to place myself between the armed man and her. Without hesitation, I brought out my largest self and with all of my courage stepped towards the man. Enraged, I called out the inappropriateness of his behavior, yelled that there was a child in the room, and demanded that he leave. I took another step towards the armed man and showed the strength that was within me, just as you do when you encounter a large animal in the woods. Momma Bear came out of me!

The man was suddenly the one who was terrified. Whatever script had been playing in his head was interrupted. He turned on his heels and ran away.

I locked the door and called 9-1-1.

The class quickly moved into another classroom, deeper into the building as we waited for assistance.

Out of all of the deputies that could have arrived that night, the one who came to speak to us and hear our story was one who spoke Russian, which was the heart language of the little girl, Ana. His name on his lapel, Solnyshkin, means “light of the sun.” So there, in the midst of that dark night came a man of light who could speak directly to the little girl’s heart and bring her comfort. The significance of his presence there, and the light coming from the midst of the police in these times, is not lost on me at all. . .

We live in times where many people are feeling desperate. They have lost homes, jobs, medical coverage, hope. People who are hopeless have potential to do more terrible things to one another. Jesus’ words from the cross have never held more significance to me than they have in these days since that experience.

“O Beloved, forgive them, these people are lost, broken, afraid,

and they just have no idea what they are doing. . . “

I took a picture as we prepared to leave the space of that horrible, sacred encounter. The joy in the picture of these beautiful women is the result of coming face to face with our mortality and living. We are forever bonded by this experience.



Gratitude abounds for the precious gift of life.

Life is Sacred. Life is precious. Life is a gift.

Embrace every moment. Love one another.

Love. Love. Love.

Meditation For Today:

What are you willing to sacrifice or give up in order that life may continue for the next generation?


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GRESHAM 
UNITED
METHODIST
CHURCH

(503) 665-1192

office@greshamumc.com

620 NW 8th Street

Gresham, OR 97030

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