It started simply. Deacon Matt Coriale challenged me to read the Gospel straight through, and I had never actually done this before.
When I did, words jumped off the page and into my heart. I became fascinated with the concept of owning less, and with the concept of giving up everything in service to others.
“He said to them in reply, ‘Whoever has two tunics should share with the one who has none.’” (Luke 3:11) Well, that verse hit me hard. I had just moved south from Wisconsin. I owned so many coats!
I felt restless in my heart, because our home was overflowing with wedding and baby shower gits. We were well equipped to fully serve the needs of multiple families from our possessions.
At that time, a donation drop-off center stood just a block away from our home. So, that spring, I often loaded up the stroller in the morning with our superfluous items and passed them on to others during my daily walk with my daughter.
This was just the tip of the iceberg. It was the very beginning of a long, exciting, often uncomfortable, but always rewarding journey to a simple and more merciful life.
Something shifted in my heart. It wasn’t that I hadn’t been willing to give before. It was that a fire had been lit within me, and I saw everything in that new light.
When we began passing on many of our possessions, freeing up physical space in our home, it felt natural to begin clearing out the mental clutter, too. So, we drastically cut down on our media intake. I was already not using any social media outlets, but began to cut back on television and movies until these things no longer interested me much at all.
And something amazing happened with this process. It freed up so much time and energy! The physical, mental, and spiritual space that opened up provided room for me to think clearly and to dream big. My soul finally had room to breathe.
If we want to start living and serving at full capacity, we need to take a look at our excess. Because the excess steals our time and stifles our creativity.
Recovering perfectionists, stay tuned, because next I’ll be talking about whether we need to be perfect to carry out a mission of mercy.
Until then, let’s go and live mercifully!
– Kaitlyn Clare Mason