What does being in the wilderness mean to you?

by Meg Craun

We have all been in the wilderness when things go wrong or poorly. Sometimes we chose to go into the wilderness to help others. Who helped you out of it? Loved ones? Friends? Have you ever helped strangers come out of their wilderness? What if you did not have a trusted person you could turn to when you felt the wilderness closing in on you?

Open Table is designed to provide people in poverty with a group of 8 to 10 people who commit to meet with them weekly for a year. The table walks with their brother or sister in creating a life plan, implementing that plan, creating leadership skills and life management skills for the long term. We use our intellectual and social capital to create change with and for our sister. Table members are encouraged to forge long-term, loving, transformative relationships with their brother/sister. We are challenged to transform our relationship with our brothers and sisters who need help from a transactional to a supportive, reciprocal relationship. As our sister, Sharon, has said, “God made us each uniquely different, but we are made of one spirit.”  She has also challenged us: “Are we loving others as God loves us?”

At the Cathedral, we are blessed to be part of a table with Freedom Temple and St. Matthew’s Catholic church for our sister Sharon. The Rev. Canon Dr. Angela Shepherd brought Open Table to the Cathedral last year. As I watched the presentation by HopeSprings, I had a moment of, “this is the way it should be.”  A group comes to together to lift up another person. I have learned to listen to these moments since only good has come from them. That moment of quiet—of listening— leading me forward. I have a responsibility to ensure that others are not left in their wilderness.

Meg Craun is chair of the Cathedral’s Justice and Outreach team.

Cathedral of the Incarnation