Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Prayer and thanksgiving for blessing of being with people with profound learning disabilities

Yesterday, coming back from my volunteering with students with profound and multiple learning disabilities I just felt overwhelmed by God's peace and love.... I felt like that very much throughout the day - it is such a blessing for me to sit, kneel next to students with PMLD and just to be there, be present, communicate by eyes, by smile, by giving them different objects with texture - communicate by being and by being present.... in psychological terms, educational terms I could describe that as elements of Intensive interaction method, that I very much love, but I know I don't have the proper "structured" approach with recorded observations and setting goals. I just spend time with students, especially with one young lady, that class teacher asked me at the beginning of my volunteering there to focus on and to see if Intensive Interaction could be for her...  But being there with this young lady and other students is so much more for me, it is very deep spiritual experience - of being and connecting on the deepest level of human being - and in God's presence. It is for me nearly impossible to describe this experience in words, especially as I am not Jean Vanier or Henry Nouwen, who wrote so profoundly about the miracle of being and meeting people with profound disaiblities....

"The way of the heart: A theology of the heart The way of the heart is a way of putting people first; of moving beyond the boundaries of the label of “intellectual disability” and putting the person-as-person. The ‘way of the heart’ is a way of encountering people; a way of being with and learning from people with intellectual disabilities. As Vanier says: “Power and cleverness call forth admiration but also a certain separation, a sense of distance; we are reminded of who we are not, of what we cannot do. On the other hand, sharing weaknesses and needs calls us together into “oneness”. We welcome those who love us into our heart. In this communion, we discover the deepest part of our being: the need to be loved and to have someone who trusts and appreciates us and who cares least of all about our capacity to work or to be clever and interesting. When we discover we are loved in this way, the masks or barriers behind which we hide are dropped; new life flows. We no longer have to prove our worth; we are free to be ourselves. We find a new wholeness, a new inner unity.” The way of the heart is the embodiment of the Spirit of God’s love."

I was walking back from that school yesterday praying and I just was not able to stop praying for another few hours... just being overwhelmed by the sense of God's presence, God's love.... I have done so much reading and thinking and writing about prayer recently, trying to complete writing up my project to complete my Worship 4 Today course.... but I just feel so strongly how all those words are just very, very imperfect attempt to express something what is just beyond our human words....  I am not living in the dream word, I am painfully aware of the pain in people's lives, all the difficulties of daily life, the number of questions, crossroads in our lives, where we and I so much look for the sense of direction.... but somehow yesterday brough for me again - and in new and deeper way - this amazing miracle of enjoyment of being in God's presence.... being lifted up and held in God's loving arms... life's circumstances did not change, there is still so much pain, difficulties around me, there is so much that hurts, but I keep coming back to God's loving arms, to rest in His presence.....  Prayer is the key, Sue said during our W4T link group meeting.... I know it, we know it and I created wonderful diagram trying to collect, connect thoughs that several people from our church gave me as they answered my interview questions about worship and creative worship and prayer in our church...  I just feel so strongly that everything fits together, pieces of mosaic coming together.... I did not do much painting, but I wrote a prayer yesterday.... I will do some painting as well... but this time it just feels right to try to put few words here that were coming so deeply in my heart yesterday as I prayed, praised God and was giving thanks to Him for the miracle of His loving presence !

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