Teachable Moments

The Noise
By Avedis Abovian

One morning while  I was doing my clinical pastoral education, I was praying in the chapel at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. There was nobody else in that small room. The conditions were perfect to be alone with God. What else did I need at that beautiful moment to feel an important part of God's kingdom?

At that very moment my thoughts were interrupted by noises from the other side of chapel doors.

I stopped. I was amazed.

It was a revelation: "You cannot just know about people on the other side of your doors. Just listening to their cries and understanding their struggles can never be enough as long as they are on the other side of your doors. This is not about 'big plans' that may bring positive changes. It is about connecting person to person; having them sit next to you at your dinner table; praying not just for them, but with them. This is about opening your doors and bringing everyone in and making them 'you' -- turning yourself into ‘them’ and together becoming God's people."

We are never alone with God. There is always the noise that should become our being, our prayer, and our connection with God.

Avedis Abovian is a priest and the youth director for the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. He received his master’s in divinity from Claremont School of Theology in 2008 and his bachelor’s from Vazgenian Theological Seminary in Sevan, Armenia, in 1997. He lives in Burbank, California.

Everything is not Eschatological
By Nikia Smith Robert

Everything is not eschatological: Everything is not otherworldly or heavenly bound.

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