Newsletter – August, 2002

**Companion Resources Newsletter**

edited by Paul D. Leichty

Volume 4, No. 8 August 2002

Now my hope is not a small one

Now my hope is to be free

Now my hope is like an anchor

Hooked into tomorrow

When these eyes will really see

— Jim Croegaert from “Shine on Me”

Copyright 1993, Rough Stones Music

We hear a lot of talk these days about protecting or preserving or fighting for our freedom. The assumption is that we are free and we somehow need to fight off anyone who would take away our freedom.

But are we really free? Do we really always do what we want to do? Do we do what is best for ourselves and for those around us? Or are we enslaved to the powers around us?

I confess, along with songwriter Jim Croegaert, that I am not totally free, but that “my hope is to be free.” Here are some of the areas in which I want to be free.

I want the freedom to build relationships without my selfishness getting in the way. Too often, I find myself getting irritated or even angry in a relationship. It’s usually because I want something back from the relationship that I’m not getting. When it comes to working with persons with special needs, I want their cooperation because “I know what is best” for them. I want some sign of appreciation for the “sacrifices” I make, for what I am trying to add to their lives. I even want them to cooperate with my dreams for building community! But if I allow myself to be enslaved by these attitudes, I end up destroying the very relationships I want to build. My hope is to be free…of the need to get something back from every relationship.

I want the freedom to be flexible in how I carry out the mission I have been given. All of us have gifts. I have certain ideas about what my gifts are and how I would like to use them. I have ideas about how I would like to be creative in doing this and that project. The reality is that most of life is much more mundane and down to earth. I need to put a lot more energy into doing the things I talk about and making practical the ideas that I’ve been given. My hope is to be free…to live and love fully in the everyday situations in which I find myself.

I want to be free to serve others without worrying how I will be taken care of. So often I feel caught between wanting to move toward a vision and the practical and economic realities of carrying out that vision. I know that there is something to be said about taking care of myself so that I can be effective in serving others. I know that I need to keep an eye on the dollars that it takes to keep a family, a church, or an organization going. But when it comes to something in which I can uniquely serve and that others affirm, my hope is to be free…to take risks when appropriate, to step out in faith even if I can’t fully see the end of the road. Here is where the imagery of “an anchor/Hooked into tomorrow” makes sense to me.

I want to be free from fear. I need to hold on to that anchor, that vision that goes beyond what I can fully see in the here and now. So often that vision is clouded by the rough seas of my fears. Some of those fears are really small fears, fears about what people will think, about whether I can really do what I feel called to do, about what will happen if I fail. Other fears are more substantial and may even keep me from doing something hastily, out of wrong motives, or in a way that will do more harm than good. But I want fear to serve me, not enslave me. My hope is to be free…of the paralysis that perpetuates the status quo and does not even allow anything new to emerge.

I cannot find the freedom that I long for out of my own inner resources. It comes from outside of myself. Jim Croegaert’s refrain is actually enclosed in a prayer that both opens and closes the song.

You are the rising sun

On my horizon

My night is a deep one

More than I can see

You are the only light

That is not a reflection

Shine on me

Shine on me.

— Jim Croegaert from “Shine on Me”

Copyright 1993, Rough Stones Music

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To find out more about Jim Croegaert and his music, visit his website at http://www.roughstonesmusic.com/. And watch for more additions in the next few months to the Companion Resources website (https://companionresources.org).

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May the light of God shine on all of us. May we reflect that light as we build community, even among “the least of these” God’s children.

Peace,

Paul D. Leichty

The Goldenrod Community

Middlebury, Indiana

PDLeichty@cresources.org

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