Daily Bread July 25

Living in Harmony
Casey Main of Kansas City, MO, USA

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
        to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -Luke 4:16-19

At SPECTACULAR there are hundreds of memories that encapsulate true fellowship and belonging. One memory that illustrates the SPEC experience is the time my girlfriends and I decided to play blue-level basketball. Blue was the lowest level of anything sports related, meaning those who sign up had never played before. There are many options for sports to play, but my fellow campers thought it would be hilarious if we gave the women’s blue basketball team a shot. I created life-long relationships on this team of inexperienced, goofy, big-hearted women who bonded through a sport they had never played before. We even made a pre-game playlist to pump us up and danced our way to the court each day before we played.

When arriving at our first game, our whole delegation came to watch and cheer us on. Some friends got so excited they were asked to not step too close to the court! The abundant love of our friends followed me everywhere throughout the week. I saw it in my counselor’s eyes, in songs that were sung, in my friends’ laughs, and all over Graceland’s campus. That feeling of pure joy embraced me, especially when I lived in community with my amazing team. What I loved most about our basketball games was meeting other strong women who wanted to try something new and make connections with people from around the world. The delegation from Hawaii even gave us popsicles and stickers after our game because they enjoyed playing with us dearly.

It’s very rare in today’s world to find a court, a business meeting, or any environment that is not aggressively competitive. SPEC created a safe space for me and my friends to cheer one another on. For centuries women have constantly been taught to compete with one another. As a high school student I felt the need to compete with other strong women around me. Ginelle Roberts and Kara Vojcsik taught me that women rise by lifting others, by fixing our friend’s crown without letting them know it was crooked. In this rare cultural space I will forever remain grateful for the opportunity to live in harmony with powerful young women; I believe the people I engaged with throughout this experience will change the world we live in with their abundant love, grace, and passion for peace.

Prayer Phrase

I belong with all that lives.

Spiritual Practice

Deep Belonging

Take a deep breath and pay attention to the web of relationships that sustain your life right now. Remember the people who have formed you. Consider the nourishing food and drink that come to you from the planet. Notice all the lives that touched everything that surrounds you. Offer a prayer of gratitude for connection and belonging with God and all creation.

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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