Rachel Lehman Stoltzfus: Becoming Midwives of Compassion

By Rachel Lehman Stoltzfus

Rachel Lehman Stoltzfus is the senior executive for Human Resources at Mennonite Mission Network.

I have always envied my friends who have sisters.  I’ve longed for that bosom-knowing that sisters seem to have so naturally.  I have also too often observed and experienced competition among women borne of self-conscious unworthiness projected onto another.  Yes, I know it’s not always easy being sisters.

But on one brief weekend at All You Need is Love, I got a taste of what a multitude of sisters overflowing with sister-love might be like.  There were only about 200.  Some of us asked, “What if there would be 2,000 of us?”  What could happen then?

So I reflect.  Mourning the tragedy of silenced voices, the vacuum wrought of gifts denied and unexpressed.  Awakened courage of mentored-strength.  The wonder of truly reveling in God-in-me, and what God-in-me can do when loved fiercely.

The invitation to step audaciously into holy fire, to be blessed with freedom to dance in sync with the Spirit. The exquisite kaleidoscope of cultures, personalities, pigments and ages, distinctive gems side by side, discovering glory in contrast and comparison.

Today in retrospect I am still holding gently, humbly, the precious gifts of powerful stories.  My heart is stirred with tentative hope for an undivided church.  May we look upon one another with compassion and see the face of Jesus Christ.

Can I dare to hope for love to take hold of our hearts, to move us to cry together our kyrie in sorrow for our own pain and for pain we have inflicted?  As sisters together, may we be midwives, bringing to birth a renewed church with grace enough for all.