Uncommon Love & Friendship when experienced grab our attention. It makes us wonder, what is motivating this kindness?
When I first slept at the cabin on Riverview Road, I dreamed several animals came to my window; one by one, they came, each peering in at me. They were an uncommon menagerie: first a deer, then a raccoon, a coyote, a bunny, then a bear. When the bear came I was alarmed, but soon felt a joy and peace from these creatures, and realized there was no reason to fear. This was a peaceful assembly. The animals were drawn to this place, and wanted to greet one another as friends, and gather to join in the dedication of Noah’s Ark Chapel and cabin.
This dream was what dream interpreters might call numinous: “arousing spiritual emotion, mysterious or awe-inspiring.” The dream awakened in me a reverence for God’s participation in our endeavors; it is He who awakens us to a sense of the holy. We are called to be co-creators in bringing forth the kingdom of God here on earth. To me, the dream implied, with God’s grace, we too may live out a love for our world and for one another, a love that is beyond our everyday efforts to be good and kind– a love that surpasses human striving, and shows a greater love that speaks of God’s grace poured out for and through us.
Noah’s Cabin and Ark are places of welcome for guests to share with their family and friends stories which inspire us to uncommon love. My friend Rachel Denise Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org; society6.com) has given permission to post her art work, in the drawing of the chick and the bunny. I encourage you to ask your children about examples of uncommon love or forgivenss which you observe. Children’s hearts are often tender and soft, ready to welcome strangers or “questionable” folk. Let us ask how we may be tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven us.” It is clear but often seemingly impossible for us to do.
As a school counselor, I was encouraged by certain youth who would go against the pressures of their peers, and stand up for the kids who others bullied and teased. It is important for children and youth to be able to tell their stories about bullying or feeling left out. Often, even school personnel do not intervene, and the children have to be creative to come up with their own means of asking for help. Please feel free to encourage your children to draw and write about challenges they have, and especially to share with a trusted parent, teacher, and friend. Reciting poems about friendship can be of value in establishing a norm for greater love and acceptance. I share a few of my favorites here:
“Heretic rebel, thing to flout, He drew a circle that shut me out. But Love and I had the wit to win, We drew a circle that took him in.” Edwin Markham
I Dreamed in a Dream by Walt Whitman
I dreamed in a dream of an invincible city, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole rest of the earth; I dreamed that was the new City of Friends; Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love–it led the rest; It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city And in all their looks and words.