One of the core members that I get to live with has a saying that I absolutely love.
He will say it if something goes wrong, or if another assistant or I make a mistake. Like the time that I switched around "convection oven" and "conventional oven" on the directions for how to cook frozen breaded chicken breasts and ended up serving everyone almost completely raw slabs of chicken. I had to quickly grab all the chicken and put them back in the oven, making our supper much later than we all had anticipated.
In the midst of this craziness, and my embarrassment and profuse apologies, Pat let loose with his words of wisdom: "That's ok," he said. "It happens to the best of families."
It's a simple little phrase, but, for me, it holds so much significance. It happens to the best of families... Families.
What we have here in L'Arche is a family. It might not look like most families, but we strive to be what a family should be. We live together, look out for each other, care for one another, celebrate together, mourn with each other, laugh together, eat together, pray together, dance and sing together. Sometimes we have struggles, we argue or disagree or sometimes we even say hurtful things to each other. But we also forgive each other. We strive to look past shortcomings and disabilities and see each person for the unique and gifted individual that they are. It's not always easy, but it's a choice we make every single day, to choose to live together, to be a community together, to be a sign of hope for the world - to show everyone what love can truly look like. Some days we do it better than others, but it's always the goal toward which we journey.
We might not be perfect, and we might make mistakes, but that's ok. It's like Pat says, it happens to the best of families.