World Conference 2023

Have You Told Her?

1 June 2023

By Chris Phelps of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name;
worship the LORD in holy splendor....
May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29:1–2, 11

Have you told her?

This seems such a simple question, but it was raised during a conversation recently about my hopes for my daughter during an upcoming school trip. I hope for her to spread her wings, try new things, have new experiences, and risk making mistakes. I hope for her to be unafraid to explore and willing to learn and suffer the occasional screw up.

Have you told her?

My answer was, “Not in so many words,” which is akin (but subtly less of a parenting failure) to saying “No!” The story that I choose to live is one where the idea of unconditional grace is paramount. We are allowed, and sometimes encouraged, to live and minister in a world where imperfection is rampant. We live in a world where we regularly make commitments beyond our ability level (or attention span), and we make mistakes. I choose to believe that I live in a world where good intentions mean something even when our ability to execute on our intentions may be incomplete or flawed. I find God in a community where attempting to do good work is rewarded with love and acceptance, even if the results are a little erratic.

Have you told them?

I need to explicitly state my belief to my daughter, my church, and all my communities, that perfection is not required for grace to abide. We need to encourage our congregations to step out to the edge of our abilities and find God at our “learning edges.” We need to reply to new ideas of worship, or new ways to minister, with a hearty “Yes! ... And!” without using the word “but” as a precursor to minimizing or subverting what could be a great idea. Being grounded in God allows us freedom to stretch and make mistakes. Go try something new! That is what is encouraged in my faith.

And yes...I told her!

Prayer Phrase

Wherever I am, God is here.

Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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