Window of Reconciliation


Today, March 10th, begins the 20 day window of reconciliation for community.  If this is a new concept to you, you can catch up in the Spiritual Warfare section of Articles on our website.

As I have pondered what strategy our corporate team should use this year, several things emerged.  I share them with you not as a template to be followed, but as a set of concepts that might stir up some original applications in your own world.

-Reconciling

The word carries some negative overtones in our culture.  In other words, we assume a breach in relationship whenever we hear that reconciliation is needed.  I am of the opinion that these four windows are not necessarily about soul searching and finding the last few unforgiven issues to be dealt with.  I believe the windows carry great grace for moving into higher positive numbers.

As we look at the issue of community in the next 20 days, we will be especially alert for those areas where community is working well so we can celebrate the beauty of different forms and flavors of people in right alignment with each other.

God is an extraordinary Scrabble player.  Watching Him take a really odd personality and place them in a community where they can absolutely shine is cause for worship — but we have to see it first, which means our whole team will be actively looking for those kinds of stories.

-Remembering

Scripture is full of admonitions to remember.  As with most Hebrew words, there are many shades of meaning.  One of them is to reminisce verbally.  The picture is of a group of people talking through a favorite memory and savoring it again, articulating the special parts of the story.

We are of the opinion that this exercise is commanded not simply because God is concerned about our data retrieval skills but because something happens in our souls and in the spiritual realm when we lean into the sweet spots of our life’s story.

So for the next 20 days, our team is going to take turns around the lunch table sharing vignettes never before celebrated with that group.  We will savor collectively the beauty of God’s gift of vibrant community so that all of us can come into agreement with the greatness of His generosity towards us in terms of good community.

Recognizing

One of the things I feel God said to me about this window is that He will be taking the initiative to enrich our ties within community.  That means it is our responsibility is to be alert and not miss the clues He sends our way.

Now THAT is a challenge.  There are a few of you out there who are rather isolated and you are finding some sense of community just reading these words on a screen, sent out to the world at large.

The reality is that most of us have triple the people in our lives that we can reasonably relate to.  Thus, we have developed some finely honed skills for connecting with most people as superficially as possible to pretend we have connection without really connecting.

I did that with Steve today.  He is the early morning clerk at the grocery store, and I am one of his regular early morning customers.  Today I bipped in to grab some milk, butter, yogurt and tapioca pudding.  We exchanged a couple of superficial comments that made each other smile.

I am probably one of his favorite customers because I engage him as a person, but in reality, our relationship is about a three on a scale of 1 to 100.  And I have a bucket full of people like Steve who I acknowledge regularly, but don’t really do community with.

And then there are the e-mails.  Almost daily I get an e-mail from someone wanting to buy a download instead of a CD.  I go into mechanical mode and explain that if they click on the Store button they will find all the downloads.  There is simply no attempt to engage them as humans.  Call it a one on a scale of 1 to 100.

And between the ones and the close inner circle are people at every level of relationship with me, reasonably well pigeon holed.  I saw Jim’s name pop up in the inbox today and my mind immediately categorized him:  Servant (or is he Teacher?), Canadian, earned authority over premature death, low maintenance, passion for birds, can see beauty in nature, has family history with land in his city, writes a focused e-mail that will be easy to read and respond to.

Even though Jim is tagged with a bucket full of positive tags in my archives, there is still a predictability that wars against my going deeper.  He probably has a new thought for me.  It will probably be good.  I will acknowledge it and use it and go on to the next e-mail.

In the midst of this relentless over-exposure to people, the King will be actively at work in this season.  He will take the initiative to reposition a one or a three or a seventy-two in a slightly different posture to see if I will recognize an opportunity to actually engage, not just do a fly by.

Without a doubt, I will miss a lot of the pitches He sends my way, but fortunately for me, He has vast endurance when it comes to pitching batting practice, and by the end of the 20 days, my community will be stronger, richer and fuller because He crafted some wonderful connecting points I had not seen before, and made it easy for me.

If I recognize them.

Reporting

I have an active prayer life, led by the God of the Universe.  I usually only have two or maybe three things on my regular list, but the Holy Spirit regularly directs me to pray for some of you for a few days at a time, until something shifts.  He stacks the deck in favor of success by telling me what you need at that moment, or what He needs me to pray out of the way or into place before you get to wherever you are going.

Most of the time I do it without comment.

I think in this window I will drop a note to a few of you and let you know what the King has put on my plate about you.  I wrote someone yesterday who I only have contact with three or four times a year, but what God had me praying was exactly what they needed, and it encouraged them to keep on going though a difficult time.

So that is how I am approaching this season.  Since there is grace to upgrade my community, I am leaning into it.

I encourage you to mull over what works for you and craft your own strategy to benefit from the available grace.

Copyright March 2013 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub, in Anaheim

This entry was posted in Sanctifying Time, Spiritual Warfare. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Window of Reconciliation

  1. milk, butter, yogurt and tapioca pudding… They’re all about the same color, Arthur. LOL. Perhaps in this window of time, we could reconcile you to the other colors in the food spectrum. God knows we need to keep you around for a long while. 🙂

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  2. Dear Arthur,
    what a thoughtful post! I always am thrilled when one of these windows opens up and i expect new and wonderful happenings during them, but your specifics help immensely!! i think of you and your team and the meetings i have been privileged to attend … i know you have prayed for me, even though you have never gotten in touch with me to tell me, and i want to thank you. Thank you for all that you do for the Kingdom of our God!! karen ford

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  3. Thomas Stanley-Jones says:

    I’ve never heard of windows before (as is true about most of the things I read through the SLG). But as I’m coming up to the end of a time of distance with my Mom, I hope that God is gracious with us. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  4. dorisann says:

    It has been months and months since I have commented on anything in your posting. I have been on a very different path that has been utilizing the resources of Sapphire but more in my stored resources than new ones.It has been all about finding a local place of community and reconciling me with the body of Christ in a place where I actually belong and am finding nurture and support for growth – in a small Presbyterian Church if you can imagine! But I have to tell you that in remembering community blessings, yours has always been high in my memory. When I was becoming less than fulfilled at the last church I had attended, i was expressing my feelings to a person by saying that if I had a loss in the family I would feel more inclined to call Arthur Burk than the pastor at that church. She was appalled, but I understood and I am sure you do also. That is not the case in this new community which is actually building success under me as well after all these years of searching for that sort of leadership. But i wouldn’t have known what to look for were it not for you and all you have poured into me in the past many years. Thank you for never being less than who you are and being consistently a man of community, Arthur!

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  5. Rosa says:

    This is just what I needed. Today I got a phone call from a cousin I grew up with,and we reminisced about how we used to pick chokecherries(a very bitter fruit that grows wild) and how our mothers made the BEST jam out of them 🙂 Sweet memories of long ago Minnesota summers. I will be on the lookout for more of such opportunities.

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  6. I really appreciated your comment about looking for the grace and the positive numbers in the window, not just ferreting out another layers of owies. That’s how I have often looked at these windows in the past – as a supercharged time to heal more wounds and embrace more wholeness. The perspective of looking for the positive flow has some interesting possibilities! I also was struck by your comment about remembering. Not only can it increase the intimacy and connectedness of the community where you share, but it can also give you a more richly textured view of your own life as you hear perspectives and feedback you haven’t heard before.

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  7. Sonia says:

    Beautiful Arthur! I am so thankful on many levels for the revelation of these windows. Since the Lord led me to you and to your rich, deep and sometimes messy teachings, (hint loaded buffet table), my life has been changed. I have looked forward to these windows of reconciliation. These windows were loaded even more so when I pressed into our King’s agenda. I now love the wonderful word…reconciliation.
    There’s that word reporting too, I am becoming friendly with that word. I needed to mature some more.
    I owe you some reporting Arthur.
    The Lord has had me recently report back to Sandy at Establish Intention. This must be the word for me during this window because I was thinking about it while washing dishes this morning. There is much to celebrate since joining the Sapphire community that has benefitted me in my immediate family, extended family and friends.
    Blessings on you during this window Arthur, blessings on the Sapphire community and blessings on those who will discover Sapphire during this window!

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    • Darla says:

      Ditto to what Sonia said :).
      The ‘community’ that I currently have is much smaller than in years gone by, but so much richer. I too owe a large dept of gratitude to Arthur, the Saphire team, my dear “Sisters” etc for all Father is doing and ways He is leading. I am looking forward to what the Lord has to reveal and assign regarding community in this window of reconciliation.
      And Sonia – I have a friend in a prayer group who is just discovering and is diving into Saphire material. It is a true joy to see her spirit being nurtured and watching her cleanse land and pray for her communities with new authority & tools. So yes, new people are discovering Saphire during this ‘season’. 🙂

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  8. Deborah says:

    Thank you, Arthur. I have the four windows of reconcilliation on my phone. So, when it came up this morning I began to ask the Lord about it. I didn’t have a clear understanding but was inquiring. I looked at some of the CD’s I have, looking for teaching. And, then your post came. Thank you for the jump start. The Lord bless you in this 20 day window.

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  9. Very encouraging especially for those with a sense of exile. Thanks for the focus of your life and team to bring this layer of flavor to all that God is cooking up. Like chia seeds, small things can inflate and carry incredible nutrients that our culture deprives us of…

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  10. Pat says:

    Arthur, thanks so much for the ideas. They actually sound doable. I plan to implement what I can during this uber-challenging time in my life. Many blessings to you as you continue to wave the banner (so we can follow) as you press hard after the King.

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  11. Deborah Rivera says:

    Thanks for this great info. I just finished an intense two days of long talks with my Mother, going over some long unresolved issues. We both pressed in and after some back and forth, came to some new understanding and resolution between us. Neither of us was aware that this was the eve of this 20 day window of resolution. What an awesome reminder of God’ timing and intention.
    I feel very encouraged and eager to learn more about God’s seasons. A great full student, Deborah

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    • Roxanne Myron says:

      Dearest Arthur,
      I really enjoyed the sequence of points that you outline about the present window of reconciliation with community, my favorite piece was your take on God’ s grace and empowerment. the Lord ha blessed me/others immensely throu you . my life has changed because of your faithfull initiative.

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