I spent this past Saturday watching my 9 year old grandson at a surfing competition. I wanted to see him at a venue where he thrived. He has many awards. School has been difficult for him. He can be quite a handful.
I walked along the beach with him and his mother, also a surfer. I was amused when the 20something guy surfers overlooked his mom but came up to my grandson, "S'up, dude?" A high five followed. They knew him as a fellow competitive surfer. He was a whole other person. He loved the beach even when not surfing.
You don't really get to know a person until you see them in their "element." Our element is that place where we shine. Our element provides us with a sense of competency and safety as well as a bit of predictability.
I began to think. How many people are not in there element when we interact with them? How many have never found their element? What is my element? Since most of the people I know I see at church, is church their element? I doubt it. How much more there is to my parish.
Jesus provided "element" to those he met. He brought out the best in people. Many of whom society had written off.
I want to create a space for people to be in their element when they are with me. I want to help people find their element and live in it as much as possible.
Jesus, help me provide element for others.