In other words, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”
I was 29 at the time, had just moved with my pregnant wife from Seattle to Little Rock, Arkansas, to manage a newsradio station there, and didn’t have a clue as to how to lead people.
The station owner was a former Navy Admiral. He knew how to lead people. He was the one to suggest I take a Dale Carnegie course to smooth out my many rough edges.
In the ancient Greek world, enthusiasm was seen as “an arbitrary invasion of God into the psyche that filled the person with an indomitable energy.”
Or put another way, a person filled with “divine inspiration.”
From a Christian faith perspective, enthusiasm means a person filled with the Spirit of God, filled with the Holy Spirit.
For Christians, enthusiasm is more than just being energetic. Enthusiasm means being courageous, motivated, and committed.
How else would the Apostles have accomplished all they did without having “God within”?
As former Seattle Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg wrote in his book, Come Follow Me, “The gift of the Holy Spirit transformed their fear into faith. It motivated them from being self-preserving to becoming other-serving, and it changed the mission of the Church from merely a human organization into a holy endeavor.”
The power of the Holy Spirit transforms of lives and communities.
Founded in the summer of 2016, this all-volunteer team serves on the margins of society by providing outreach, medical assistance, and serving as advocates to those experiencing homelessness.
A few weeks after notifying the archbishop I got my first answer. My second answer came just this past Friday.
The Archbishop wrote, “Dennis, I am pleased to hear that you are re-engaging with MercyWatch and believe this sort of ministry exemplifies the ‘Samaritan Church’ to which Pope Francis is calling us… I fully support your discernment (and your decision to retire).”
MercyWatch has over a thousand clients and serves as one of the largest free clinics in the state of Washington. MercyWatch is the only nonprofit doing street medicine in Western Washington.
On Monday, we will find out how much we will be awarded.
In addition, this past Friday MercyWatch was asked to help run a five-day a week day shelter for those experiencing homelessness in Everett. City and County funding will flow into that project to better serve our community.
MercyWatch enthusiastically serves the unhoused. Our team is courageous in its encounters with this volatile and vulnerable community.
MercyWatch doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and outreach workers and others are motivated and committed because we have “God within” our mission.
This is where I will be spending my fulltime attention once I leave here at the end of the month.
In Assisi, every year on the Feast of Pentecost, St. Francis would gather his many followers and pray to the Holy Spirit to guide them in their endeavors.
“The Holy Spirit is able to transform fear into courageous faith, anxious concern into peace, alienation into reconciliation, and disciples into missionaries.”
As we gather here today, let us pray for Sacred Encounters, St. Vincent de Paul, MercyWatch, Operation Nightwatch, Union Gospel Mission, Mary’s Place, and all the many ministries serving the “least of these” in our world; that the Holy Spirit will enrich their endeavors.
And to that we say, Amen.