Begin Where You Are

2 comments Posted on November 3, 2014

Jan Kernby Jan Kern

There’s a place in Coventry England that intrigues me and that I hope to visit some day—the Saint Michaels Cathedral, also known simply as the Coventry Cathedral. Its history and current pursuits impress me in ways that I hope might impact how I live and interact within my own community and country.

The cathedral is a beautiful building full of artistry and hope, a mix of the old and the new. During World War II, the Germans bombed the 14th century cathedral leaving it in ruins. Those who designed the rebuilding of the cathedral did not tear down the skeleton of walls and spires that remained but incorporated them into the courtyard and the landscape of the new cathedral buildings. Today the art, statuary, religious symbols and plaques throughout the grounds and chapels share a common message of reconciliation and peace. It is known as “a place of welcome.”

These small bits of facts and history inspire me and begin to stir prayerful and evaluative questions for my life. Some of those include:

Coventry CathedralWhere has there been devastation in my community that might need people coming together for rebuilding and creative reconciliation? What gifts can I contribute?

Where might God lead me to strengthen relationships and dialogue across generations, bringing old and new ideas together?

Where can I courageously share a message of hope or peace?

How else might I live differently, genuinely, or generously as a “person of welcome”?

While I am unsure what kind of difference I might make, I know I can begin right where I am. Perhaps if we each did that, in this day when the news is full of unrest and tension, we can make a collective impact and bring more kindness into our communities.

Begin where you are. Smile at a stranger today.  Be a person of welcome.

Image permission: Wikimedia Commons

scarsJan Kern is women’s retreat speaker, credentialed life coach, and author of five books, including Scars That Wound, Scars that Heal—A Journey Out of Self Injury, an ECPA Gold Medallion finalist in the youth category. When she’s not writing, speaking, and coaching, she serves alongside her husband at a residential ministry for at-risk youth in northern California.

Learn more about Jan at
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Twitter: jankern


  • 12/02/2014
    Aletha Francis said:

    Thanks for sharing this, Jan. There is a powerful truth behind the choice not to cover up the scars of war, or any evil, and choosing instead to build around them as a message of hope and reconciliation.

  • 12/04/2014
    Jan Kern said:

    I so agree. The message put forth by those who restored this cathedral was to not hide the devastation or what brought it about but to use it to inspire a different way going forward. Redemptive!


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