I went to my first World Conference with an open heart and mind. I was grateful to know many friends from near and far who had attended before and would help guide me and ensure I had a well-rounded experience. I knew I was in for laughs, tears, hard conversations, and many hours of deliberation on important legislation that will impact the church locally and internationally.
I was privileged to offer the closing prayer after Thursday’s legislative meetings, and I freely admit that I was nervous. I wrote my prayer in pieces throughout the week, a novel practice for me, and was changing things up until we started singing the hymn right before my prayer. I wanted to get it right.
I chose to focus on what World Conference showed me most clearly: the expression of God in each of us. I am called to love, try to understand, and be accepting of those who are different from me. I always knew this meant I should never deny someone Christ-like love based on the shade of their skin, who they love, their worst choices in weak moments, or how much money they have. I have always found it hard to truly accept and appreciate those I don’t agree with, or who I think are just plain wrong about what matters most. This is a less obvious, but I think more insidious way we can be held back from achieving the best in our world.
My understanding of the endless and indiscriminate love God gives each of us continues to evolve. My time at World Conference opened my eyes fully to seeing every person as an expression of our Creator. Each of us shows a facet, a sliver of God’s infinite spectrum of presence. I am made better, more whole and closer to the Spirit when I choose to see the individuals who I contrast with as an important voice in the world, just as entitled to God’s unconditional love as I am. This is our modern-day call: to love the neighbour that you don’t agree with because they are an expression of the Divine, just as you are. God is in them too, just different pieces of the divine shimmer through them. This allows us to experience God’s truly indescribable and mercurial nature that humankind will never fully comprehend. My God is always bigger and more loving than I think they could possibly be, and I look forward to being reminded of this many, many more times in my life.
Calgary Spark is a collection of stories told by members and friends of the church alike. Each person's story is helping to shape our community in new ways.