In a world where a pandemic can change our lives in an instant, it is inevitable that things will be delayed or canceled. Because of this, I struggle to be vulnerable and open myself up to new experiences. Every cautious step taken comes with the fear of rejection and hurt. We have been living in a pandemic for two years, and I see it everyday as my students navigate through evolving covid policies on top of changing and canceled events. It is easy to get frustrated and feel rejected.
Rejection will always be a risk in life, but God invites us to be vulnerable. Naaman, rejected by the King and frustrated by Elisha’s response, expects a dramatic act of God to be required to heal his leprosy. Bathing in the Jordan seemed too easy a solution to solve his frustrations. We can see what God asks of us through Elisha, the small intentional change.
The burnout created by adjusting constantly for the last two years makes me feel like the only answer is to constantly rework everything; to do the dramatic act. But what if our solution is as simple as Naaman’s? I need to slow down. Enjoy simple conversations. Forgive myself for any anger I am holding on to. I am angry at myself, the world, and God for our reality and its’ injustices. What am I supposed to do with that anger and frustration? It is easy to shut down and turn away from my friends, from work, or from God. It is scary to risk putting myself out there, but the risk is worth it. God calls us to take risks and push ourselves to address our frustrations with loss and injustice. Our frustrations can be the motivation we need to make the small change, have the hard conversation, or show God’s love to our neighbors.
- Where are you doing the big dramatic act, when you could be doing a small thing?
- How can doing a small thing in your life better bring God’s love into the world?
Miles Tiemeyer is a graduate of Xavier University (2020), where he studied in the Philosophy, Politics, and the Public program along with majors in political science and history. During undergrad, he was involved in social justice and political advocacy through his work in the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice. After graduating from Xavier, he served a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Houston, Texas at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston. Currently, Miles is resident minister and graduate assistant for John Carroll University Campus Ministry while studying for his masters in theology and religious studies.