Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


May 4, 2010

Dear Friend,

Consider the opening words of the great poem of St. Francis of Assisi. “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt , faith, where there is despair, hope,” and so on.


Instrumentality is an interesting concept – “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.”  To be the instrument of someone is to be the means of, the method of, the agency of that person.


Mother Theresa said, “I am only a pencil in the hand of God.”  The pencil is the instrument of writing. Who decides when a pencil writes, what it writes, where it writes?  The writer, of course, is the one who holds and uses the pencil.


For we who follow Jesus, instrumentality requires an appropriate humility.  We serve as God’s instruments, not as without flaw, but as agents of love, healing and hope in the lives of other people.


When we act in God’s name in ways that diminish, devalue, demean or destroy other people we actually are instruments of the malevolent opposite of God’s gracious and loving character.


To be an instrument of our Lord means that you live in a manner consistent with the character of Jesus , that you act in Jesus’ place, with Jesus’ life and love inside of you.


Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28* As his instrument you also invite the weak and heavy laden to find rest.


Jesus said, “Do let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God,” and “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.” John 14:1, 11:25  As his instrument you comfort the troubled heart, you point people to Jesus.


Sing the great song, “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,” and pray, “Use me, Lord.  Make me an instrument of your peace, of your ministry, of your heart.”


With joy - E. Stanley Ott

Copyright 2010 E. Stanley Ott

*Scripture from the NRSV