October 18, 2017
By Maritza Angulo de Gonzalez.
Scripture: Exodus 33:18 (The Message)
Moses said, “Please. Let me see your Glory.”
Last year I celebrated my first Sabbatical. On my Sunday before Sabbatical, I entered the Chapel, prepared for confession, forgiveness and to be “sent out”. I confessed that I was feeling defeated as a minister and as an individual. I confessed that my spiritual and emotional strengths were depleted and I needed to go and seek God’s face. I remember taking my stole, my robe and my collar off in the middle of the congregation and asking for their prayers as I prepared to leave the chapel. Something powerful happened that day, the congregants laid their hands on me and sent me forth with a prayer that included “ let her see you, the real you in her life”. And I walked out and left while they remained in the Sanctuary praying and worshiping our God. During those 90 days I sought the face of the God of my understanding, the one that provides wisdom and knowledge, the one who shares God’s power, justice, mercy and love.
Today, one year later, I am standing in the midst of crisis, the aftermath of category 3 and 4 hurricanes, 50+ people murdered, fires leaving many homeless and devastated. I am asking the same question Moses asked, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with [us] in this […]? Are you traveling with us or not? (V15-16).
And in my secrete place, my heart, my greatest fear unravels “will you remain with us as we rebuild our hearts, heal our emotions and regain control of who we are in you or not?”
Beloved, I know where God brought me from, I know that I can hide myself, and those that belong to me “in the cleft of the rock” to see God as God returns from doing Justice and providing Mercy. But I do not want to be hidden in my misery, looking for God’s face in the wrong places. I want to seek God’s true self, I want to lean on and be covered by God’s glory in unison with those that are less fortunate than I am. I want to hide in this messy place and see God’s Glory in our time of crisis.
Amado Jesus, durante este año lleno de dolor y de angustias, he aprendido cosas que no sabria si continuaba creyendo que yo era fuerte. Te doy gracias porque aprendí que los Fuertes quizas no tengan necesidad de ti – al menos eso piensan. Pero somos los cobardes, los que nos sentimos debiles, los que nos escondemos en una “grieta o hendidura de la roca” y son esos, los debiles; los que realmente te ven en tu hermosura, en tu santidad. Gracias! (adapted from keepbelieving.com).
The Rev. Dr. Maritza Angulo de González is Co-Pastor of Manantial de Gracia "Spring of Grace" in West Hartford. She is also a member of the United Church of Christ Board of Directors.
October 18, 2017
Maritza Angulo de Gonzalez.