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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Encounter’ as in… each encounter brings some measure of change to the world.

Trappist monk, Thomas Merton famously wrote, “True encounter with Christ liberates something in us, a power we did not know we had, a hope, a capacity for life, a resilience, an ability to bounce back when we thought we were completely defeated, a capacity to grow and change, a power of creative transformation.”

This is outside-in work; something that the Spirit initiates, lest we get too full of ourselves. That’s really the good news – it’s the Spirit at work in us. Sometimes it’s just good to be reminded of that.

For the seventeenth year in a row, I had the opportunity to speak with students at Armatage Montessori School in Southwest Minneapolis. Nearly eighty 5th grade students who have been embracing the challenge placed before them by their principal, Joan Franks: “Change the World.” I shared the stories of Zach Bonner, Emily Lopez, and Jackson Kelley. Each one started with a simple idea that inspired them. Before long, their dreams of changing the world became a reality for countless others.

For 8 minutes and 55 seconds of goodness, follow this link.

As I challenged the students at Armatage School, let me challenge you. What’s that one thing that’s in you that moves you beyond yourself? What is that one small idea that you believe can make a big difference? It could be any number of things: becoming a friend to someone who doesn’t have a friend or getting some help for someone who is being bullied or inviting someone on the outside to come in where it’s safe on the inside. Maybe the one thing you can do is cheering up someone who is sad, or holding the door open for someone who’s arms are full. It could be that you’ll make a difference by sharing your talents or showing some kindness.

What’s your dream?

I’m encouraging you today to do that one thing that you believe will change your world. That may be one small encounter that brings a big change to the world.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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