When I wrote last year’s reflections about the Servant’s Way, I had no idea how much they would resonate for me throughout 2014.
In November of 2013, I was contemplating what I would do for my Novena for Peace and it occurred to me that the Prayer of Saint Francis was the perfect backdrop for reflection. I planned the reflections beginning in early December and was halfway through writing and scheduling them when I got a call about a project that ultimately became the Opening Hearts book project with Lester R. Sauvage, MD.
Coincidently (or not), on the morning of the day the invitation came to meet to discuss the needs for Dr. Sauvage’s book, I had a moment of conscious surrender to God’s will. I had attempted such surrender in the past, but in this particular moment something significant shifted. My fear and my ego (with its need for outcomes limited by its own definitions) moved aside and I had one pure instance of surrender. I thanked God for all my experiences both light and dark then offered the talents that I had been uniquely blessed with to walk in “the servant’s way.” I opened myself to the plan God had and jumped without a net spiritually and emotionally. Mere hours from that surrender, I was sitting in a coffeehouse listening to Dr. Sauvage’s representative outline the problems, needs, hopes, and challenges that would send me on an amazing journey.
In that initial meeting, I learned that Doctor Sauvage had a particular devotion to Saint Francis. I felt a graced synchronicity and deep peace settled on me. For the first time in my life I didn’t worry about whether I would be hired for work that seemed so absolutely perfect for me. The peace continued during the nearly two months that passed before the ink was dry on an agreement. That was a revelation for someone like me who has a habit of anxious worry. And that peace, joined by gratitude, continued through the year that followed even when I felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of this project or challenged by the enormity of it.
Some days I can scarcely believe my good fortune. I’ve worked almost an entire year researching, organizing, structuring, and filtering the content of a manuscript, and then writing and rewriting for a man who is a legend in the medical world and a spiritual mentor to thousands. A man who is also truly humble, gentle, and compassionate. A man whose personal mission is to be God’s healing love for others. He is a true servant, a man Saint Francis himself would be proud of.
What had shifted in me that allowed this all to come to pass? I’ve contemplated that many times. I remember the energized feeling of openness inside my body when I said my prayer of surrender. I remember the feeling of lightness and the childlike curiosity and sense of wonder that accompanied it.
I suppose after a lifetime of attempts and false starts, I finally was able to trust completely that I was held in the palm of God’s hand. That I was truly One with my Creator so all would be well in surrendering to God’s idea of the servant’s way for me. My surrender was a moment of grace. I am so grateful for it.
On this eighth day of the Novena of Peace, can you also trust the Creator?
Can you surrender to the Servant’s Way?
Can you become an instrument of peace?