Here is a short musing on my time with the SF IC Sandimus Team. Let me say that I am glad for the time that I had with them. It is theirs to share what they learned from me... Rather I am going to focus on some things that God brought to my attention about my own life.
Jose, the current leader of this team, was trained up under the Base community model of Bible study while living in El Salvador. He later came went through our formation. Still some of the strengths of his former training comes through in a profound way. (and no we are not from the Liberation Theology camp... but we don't stick our fingers in our ears either...)
Jose models a deep discipline of listening to God. a good part of this is learning to regularly take silent retreats. His modeling this inspires the rest of his team to practice the careful listening to both God and their own souls. This also impacts the quality of their sharing together. They know their own hearts, souls, & thoughts ... and the various ways in which God seems to speak to each person on the team. Because of this practice and the reality it grounds each member of his team in... Jose has a deep trust in each persons ability to follow God and contribute to their community's process of discernment. The team has a deep sense of loyalty to one another... deeper than I have recently seen anywhere else... and even a deeper sense of loyalty to God.
The groups openness to God drew out of me a capacity to hear God that is unusual for me. In the first 10 minutes of meeting with them God called me to give a small financial gift to one of his team members. I saw the need before they said anything about it... and it was the last thing on my mind... For me it was a call to obedience. (Jude - my wife / I am her husband - she is the one who has the gift of giving [between the two of us]... and any impulse in that direction I attribute to God's grace and the impact she has had on my life.) Our lives in very simple ways... and direct ways touched one another. (I can tell sometimes when the grace of God flowing in my life is coming from my own rootedness in God / Eph. 3:14-21, or from Grace that is at work in and around others... The Grace at work wise profound to me and largely not from my spiritual well.)
The result of this time and the re-reading of Henry Nouwen's book "The Wounded Healer" (encouraged by Jeff Man)... I have promised Martha & Jose that I will try to go on my own silent retreat and try to listen to God and his initiative in my heart for 3 hours... before the end of the year... I am putting this in print for the sake of accountability.
I should draw up again some of the basic literature on this practice... Like Richard Foster's Book Celebration of Discipline. I am sure that Jude will celebrate and encourage this movement in my life. She also will have articles and other lit. to give me to enrich my focus in this work.
I can not say enough of the Caya's hospitality. Simply put, they were very kind to us for all the time we were with them.
There is more to share. But I must rest here because my plane has just arrived... late... but it is here.