Say Yes

In January, I made a vision board. Vision boarding is a process of going through magazines and picking pictures that “speak” to you or represent a vision you have for your future. On my board, I had cut out a colorful picture of the word “Yes”. Up until recently it still hadn’t come to me why that word was on my board. In the last few weeks, however, the word “Yes” has been surfacing in a number of different ways. Most recently was in a podcast interview that I heard of Brother David Stiendl-Rast, a 90-year old Benedictine monk. Listening to this interview provided me with the purpose behind this “Yes”.

During the interview, Brother David was asked how he felt about the discord and anger in the current environment. His answer was “say Yes to belonging”. He went on to explain that anger, discord, violence, etc. are rooted in fear and by saying yes to belonging, we recognize that we are all one. This recognition of belonging allows fear to dissipate, and, thereby, leaves us open to listening to another’s point of view. Brother David states that we can continue to disagree with our enemy, but the recognition that our enemy is one with us allows the aggression and animosity towards them cease which allows for a state of peace.

Here is a quote from his biography i am through you so i:

“Daily it becomes clearer to me gratitude is the celebration of love, just as love is the lived yes of joyful mutual belonging. Gratitude celebrates life with a joyful “yes”, and every knot of the great network in which everything is connected to everything. As we live this yes with evermore conviction, love ripens evermore abundantly in the autumn sun of life. I now see it as my main task to simply allow this to happen since we do not die from death, but from fully ripened love.”

Brother David went on to say that “Fear Not” is in the bible 365 times, one for each day of the year. To Fear Not is to say yes to belonging. When I think of “Fear Not”, the passage from Luke:2-10 comes to mind:

“And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

For me, this passage sums up what Brother David was expressing. Jesus came into the world to eliminate fear. And, Jesus came for all people, and through Him we are all one. By saying yes to belonging we are saying no to fear and yes to Jesus and his command to love one another.

Turns out that “yes” on my vision board carries a greater vision than I could’ve imagined.

Kelley Evans

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