From The Life of the Beloved:

When I know that I am chosen, I know that I have been seen as a special person. Someone has noticed me in my uniqueness and has expressed a desire to know me, to come closer to me, to love me. When I write to you that, as the Beloved, we are God's chosen ones, I mean that we have been seen by God from all eternity and seen as unique, special, precious beings.

To be chosen does not mean that others are rejected...to be chosen as the Beloved of God is something radically different.  Instead of excluding others, it includes others.  Instead of rejecting others as less valuable, it accepts others in their own uniqueness. It is not a competitive, but a compassionate choice.

Henri Nouwen

Here Christianne Msall, a core member who has lived in L'Arche for sixteen years, shares what it means to honored in her unique gifts and to celebrate the uniqueness of those around her.  

What are the things that make you special?

I was born different. I have Down Syndrome and that means that we do not want to be treated in the wrong way. I like to help people. I like to help my community leader when I come to the L’Arche Office to do my clerical work. I like to help members of my house like Elizabeth Brady. She is my house coordinator and I like to help her. I am an artist at the Arts of Life where I was Artist of the month for February.

What does God see when he looks at you?

Spirituality. I live together with people at Angel House. We help and support each other when we go through tough times. I like to pray after meals for people who need help. I also like to welcome new people to my house and give them my business cards!

What is special and unique about your housemates?     

My housemates are my family. Dana is wonderful. She is helpful and I love to go out with her. Maybe one day, I would like to see what she does at Best Buddies! Anders and I have a big family. He has a huge family. He is different than me, but that is okay. My house coordinator is wonderful and she always want to help.

How do you make sure they know that they are special?

I like to talk to them and see how they are doing. I like to talk to the people in my life. I like to be hospitable. Welcoming people into my home is very important. I like to share my art work and give my mandala drawings to people. I am the “Mother of the House” so I know how to welcome people!