I was asked to give some impromptu remarks last night to a large group of individuals I am fortunate for work with. As I walked towards the mike I was struck by three facts.
Being invited into a community is a privilege. Regardless of the setting, an invitation to another to join is a statement of value and inclusiveness. A community finds value in the other and extends a hand of friendship and warmth. Often the recipient takes it for granted but tonight I realized how fortunate I was.
When one accepts an invitation to be part of something different, a window opens for the newcomer to express the things of value that they see. In this case, the community is unique, strong, and caring. They are different than others I work with. With the largest percentage of women that I have ever worked with, the ways that they respond to the present and face the future is a model others would do well to take note of.
When one gives witness to the good in others, hope grows, a sense of possibility emerges, and everyone within the witness grows stronger. It is a good step that we often forget to take. As I finished my remarks, co-leader was compelled to step up and add his perspective. His joy and enthusiasm was testimony of the power of what might be. His remarks in reinforcing the golden truths of this community ended with a request that was more of a demand. Paraphrasing, “Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo! Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs!” (Psalm 47.1)
I along with everyone in the room clapped and shouted our agreement. It was a great moment I do not every want to forget. I realized as the sound began to fade that we do not often have these moments. I wonder why. As troublesome and troubled as this world is, there are much to celebrate. On this night we did. I hope I seize more opportunities. I know they are here if I am willing to see and embrace them.