After a day of false starts and wandering directions trying to write this article…
I hear the words ‘Choose Me’ in my mind. With it my dream from the night before comes flooding back. In coming alongside a long lost friend who has been given a terminal diagnosis I look into his face and say ‘What can I do?’ He responds with “Pick me” I physically back away my mind reeling, tangled in thoughts wondering ‘Am I free to do so?’ While the dream spoke viscerally to my limits (perceived or otherwise) I sense the invitation that is unfolding in the words ‘Choose Me” is a humbling yet whole-making journey into loving and honouring ways we have yet to comprehend.
I entered into the task of helping assemble a repudiation of the doctrine of discovery for the Free Methodist Church in Canada not knowing what my role would be. What God has wrought out of my breadcrumb offering has been for me such a new wideness in seeing, a continued learning of what I didn’t know that I didn’t know and an entering into not just a willingness but a desire for much needed paradigm shifts as He guides.
In this last year, if we haven’t been listening to the cry of those Indigenous voices that have been muted, their very worth discounted… it is even the ground that cries out now. To choose Him is to choose the marginalized, the oppressed, the poor but in the very foundation of our country’s system (almost covertly) sits a core belief in the doctrine of discovery that readily deals out caveats, justifications and principles that excuse. It’s touch is ever present, it’s reach found even in our justice system.
To publicly repudiate the doctrine of discovery is a step in choosing Him but I, with a full heart, know there is so much more ground we are being invited to travel. Being raised in a stream thick with individualism and expectation (of more and better) my first reaction is to ask what can I do? Yes, start there… learn! In God’s light and mercy see! Lament as you look in the many mirrors with the knowing a turning towards your own needed healing will be asked of you. Then shift what was once unfounded, yet accepted, thought and assumptions with informed responses from the revelations. Nurture love and respect. Look for God in all. But it’s ironic, I know, for as I write this I realize there is nothing individual about relationships. While we need to do our own work, if we want to be counter cultural to a system that contains oppressive ways doesn’t it make further sense that it’d be in our joining together to be a body, a people that lives out that wider relationship that we become an amplified voice of resistance to the oppression while learning to love? The body coming together will always be a motley crew many in differing places along the journey, some by circumstance, others by geography or learning but with that cord of insistence of the intrinsic value and worth that demands a righting of the system and ourselves as we actually see one another and open to relationship. In any time of evaluation and accountability we have the chance to re-root in what is good, let go of what is not and beseech our Abba for the places and ways we have yet to travel.
May we as the FMCIC and beyond realize we are free to Choose Him and may this last season of unraveling and cracking become the birthing of invitation led by the Holy Spirit in mind, heart, soul and body to the ever widening places of love and grace than we now know. Enable us Holy Spirit to dare to see and may we respond by pouring ourselves out in the radically self giving love. Create within us the willingness to be present in the mess of a wounding imbalance, praying and moving towards Your Kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Tamera Goller | on behalf of the Intercultural Engagement Team
In addition I’d like to give a shout out to the Women in Leadership Task Team whose push for action to back up belief allowed me the chance to write this article and the Free Methodist Church in Canada for listening.