It's not about us.
It's all about Him.
Wholemakers of Love in a World of Change
This can change the world
In Markings, perhaps the most moving and godly book ever written by a world leader, Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary General of the United Nations wrote, I don’t know Who-or what-put the question, I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone-or Something -and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.
Hammarskjold’s sharing gripped me, for just a few days prior I had been profoundly gripped by another sharing, this time by Ilia Delio*: We are called to be wholemakers of love in a world of change. In many ways, our world is broken. People are broken, systems are broken, relationships are broken. Hopes of all kinds lie shattered among the ruins of people, agendas, dreams and futures overwhelmed by the speed and the immensity of change. Result: out of fear and frustration people seek more and more to isolate themselves hoping to protect their cause, their status, even their survival rather than seeking oneness and unity. Unity. Not uniformity, but unity.
We are all called to unity and oneness. The key to unity and oneness is relationship with God, self and others. Life has no meaning without relationship. When we get relationship right, we’ll get everything else right. The key to relationship is Love. Love is the Christian way of problem-solving. We were created by Love and for love and it is love that nurtures relationships that lead to wholeness. The strategies of men have gotten us what we have so far: the pain of increasing brokenness. Wholeness is essential because the brokenness that surrounds us is too global and too urgent to settle for anything less. We must indeed become wholemakers of love in a world overwhelmed and sometimes shattered by change.
Without the loving nurturing toward wholeness“…we will continue to destroy the world by continued wars, ecological devastation, and failed relationships at every level.” (Richard Rohr in Dancing Standing Still). Not exactly a good way of handling what has been entrusted to us.
And we are all called to love. When I first read, We are to be wholemakers of love in a world of change, I realized that everything I had been experiencing the last few years in prayer, love and relationships was coming together in that one moment for one purpose and focus: to be a wholemaker of love in a world of change and to share that message, as well. In that moment I surrendered. Yes.
Delio continues: The future of the earth … lies not in science and technology, but in the spiritual power of world religions and the power of love. We are born out of love, we exist in love and we are destined for eternal love. Instead of developing faster computers, smaller chips or artificial means of new life, it is time to reinvent ourselves in love. Yes.
For many years my two-fold mission in life has been loving those God puts before me at any given moment, thereby nurturing them into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe that what unfolds in me unfolds in the word around me: I truly believe that what I am offering here can change the world. It changed me. At age 77 my life is too short to present anything other than that which I am thoroughly convinced can result in true transformation.
Nature has shown us that autonomy and independence are an illusion leading to fragmentation and brokenness. No man is an island. Nature cannot be separated; it functions in wholeness. What is true of nature is also true of people, relationships and systems. All need wholeness, wholeness nurtured in and by Love. I offer not a method, but a relationship, an experience. I offer the seeds of what it takes to be a wholemaker of love in a world of change.
Wholemaking begins with self. My personal goal is 20 to 30 minutes twice a day where I can be alone in a quiet place. I sit down, remaining still and upright, close my eyes lightly while yet being relaxed and aware. Silently, I begin to say a single word: “Maranatha”—an ancient Aramaic word meaning, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Jesus spoke Aramaic. I inhale on the first two syllables (Ma-ra), exhale on the last two (na-tha). If something detracts me I don’t worry about it; just go back to silently speaking the word in my heart with every breath for the 20 to 30 minutes.
Over time, almost without my noticing, change began happening in my life and my relationships, and the first relationship change I noticed was with my self. Then, changes began simultaneously with God and others. I was realizing a new way of seeing and a new way of being, and love seemed to be at the center of all of it. I was becoming what I was focused on. Maranatha! I noticed increased wisdom in daily decision making. Judgmentalism slowly gave way to forgiveness. Impulsive confrontation gave way to compassionate community. Patience and appreciation of others took on new dimensions; and the world’s choices enlarged from strictly black or white, liberal or conservative, yes or no, sinner or believer, for me or against me, your way or my way to “Where is the Holy Spirit leading in all this?” And I think I can safely say that I no longer hate or dislike anyone. I may strongly disagree with their point of view or lifestyle, but I see them now through a completely different perspective.
In other words, the God who brought me into this world is now once again in control and I see people, relationships, situations and systems through His eyes rather than mine. I am becoming a “wholemaker of love in a world of change” and I notice again that what unfolds in me begins to unfold in others; they, too, are moving toward creating and nurturing wholeness rather than just settling for brokenness.
To you, the Reader: Your life has purpose and meaning. You and I are called, above all else, to love. I encourage you to say, “Yes”. Set a goal of 20 to 30 minutes twice a day in as quiet a place as possible, sit back and relax and simply repeat that one simple word, “Maranatha”. You will change, your world will change, and the bigger world will change because you are now moving in unity and oneness with the One who created you. You are a “wholemaker of love” in a world accustomed to and victimized by the tyranny of change.
Further suggestion: Share this with others and then meet together periodically for twenty minutes of silence and meditation, followed by sharing experiences of wholemaking on your journey of love.
I felt the call to be a “Wholemaker of love in a world of change”. The question then became, “How shall I respond? What am I going to do about it?” You are reading this because I said “Yes”.
Blessings to you.
Chuck Tooman, A wholemaker of love in a world of change.
*Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD. “Love at the Heart of the Universe”. Oneing: the perennial tradition. Volume one, numer one. Spring 2013. Published by Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, NM. Ilia is a Senior Fellow at Woodsdtock Theological Center, Georgetown University. Author of twelve books including The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love. http://catholicstudies.georgetown.edu/321406.html.
Richard Rohr, OFM, is Founder Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of the Rohr Institute. He is the author of many books including Falling Upward: a Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. His website is https://cac.org/.
Chuck Tooman is currently completing fourteen years as Director of Spiritual Care at Lake Superior Hospice in Marquette, Michigan. His life journey has included secondary, college and university teaching, university chaplaincy, and non-denominational church leadership. He is the author the non-bestselling Richness in Christ. His website is www.projectheartcry.com and email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck & Barb Tooman ~ 1402 West Avenue ~ Marquette, MI 49855 ~ Phone (906)228-3788