• Eirenicole

Inherent Attention

Inherent Attention 2560 1920 Nicole

God’s attention is on us. We are made in God’s image. So, we are inherently predisposed to pay attention to one another.  

Some of you may know that Clark has a job. He is mowing the 3 parcels of land the church owns (the parsonage, the church grounds, and the lot of land across the way). He is learning responsibility, he has opened a bank account and learning to budget his money, to tithe, to be generous – he noticed the Peace With Justice special offering envelope in the bulletin last week and wanted to give a significant amount, not thinking about the reality of what he actually has and where it is already going. Still, it is fascinating to watch how he processes making money.

But the other day, when he was getting close to finishing the church’s lawn, a woman came with her lawn mower and told Clark she would finish mowing. She said that the church has done so much for her, she wanted to give back even a little. Well, when Clark came home, many words clamored to rush out of my mouth . . . but what I did say was, “Clark, honey, you are getting paid to do the work. It is important to honor a person’s desire to give back in a manner in which she can. But the next time something like that happens, you must be clear that you are actually getting paid for this, so either let me give you my wages or suggest she talk with Gavin about weeding.” Or something to that effect.

Another woman, single mother of 4, was in danger of eviction this week. She recently suffered a stroke and her doctor said she couldn’t continue the work she was doing, and was terribly despondent. She wanted to just roll up in bed and just die.

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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