A Nonjudgmental Church Community
I want to thank you as a church for holding a nonjudgmental space where people can come and ask the hard questions.
Last week, Shifra was suffering. You held her in your bowl of light. You allowed her suffering to be cradled in your understanding. You were like the stars in the night sky. In that silent darkness, she felt safe to let her heart cry. You listened. You allowed her to find her own path to her truth.
The dilemma in religion right now is that those who are experiencing a shift in their faith don’t know where to turn.
One former evangelical Christian said, “Suddenly the God I had known and grown up with was no longer big enough. I had questions and doubts and nowhere to take them.”
You demonstrated last week, that our church, Hale Ho’onani is a place where you can be openly authentic and have amazing intense conversations that don’t normally happen in traditional church. You demonstrated that our community is strong enough to explore the big questions.
Asking questions is a sign that a person’s faith is growing, not stagnating.
What wasn’t seen on the livestream— because it happened in our private discussion after our Sunday service— was that we all witnessed Shifra’s transformation from a place of deep inner pain to a place of gratitude and acceptance.
That happened because of two things:
- Holding space for someone to speak their truth.
- The intention to love someone, wherever they are at.
A Harvard Experiment
This past week, I was meeting with a group of leaders from Harvard and we were talking about this exact same situation. One person was saying that he had been meeting every week with his co-workers and every week, they would argue. No one could agree on anything.
As an experiment, just by himself, he decided to meditate right before their meeting. For the first time in nine months, everyone was all on the same page, working towards the same goal.
That’s what you did with Shifra last week. You didn’t have to say anything or do anything. Just with your intention, by being fully present to her pain, it shifted her so dramatically that after Sunday service, she experienced a healing and thanked everyone for their compassion.
It’s just like walking into a dark room. It only takes one person with a light to light up the whole room.
Wherever you are, you are that light.
Wisdom of the Heart
There was a Native American in this meeting. He said that when you set your intention the way that you did last week with Shifra, instantaneously, you are in your heart. And when you are there, you know when someone is not.
And you know if they are. You don’t have to think and figure it out.
When you are in your heart, you instantly know.
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