Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Monday, July 13, 2015

Living new stories

“When our own little stories begin to feel self-contained and inescapable, that’s when things are tragic.  Maybe on some level you feel that way.  Trapped.  Unable to change the story of who you are.  Unable to change your behavior or attitude or outlook.  So caught up in the events around you, so caught up in the identity you’ve had so long that it clings to you like a skin suit.”
                                                                                Nadia Weber-Bolz, in  sermon on the death of John the Baptist

my life is my story
I have written it
(others have edited it)
for 64 years

it has been,
a comedy
a drama
a tragedy

there have been moments of great joy
the birth of my children
that moment when I stood as the newly elected pastor
of “the big church”

moments of sheer terror
when I realized I was in fact
at age34 the pastor of
the “big church”

moments of despair
when patterns of thinking and behavior
sabotaged my life

there have been times when I have loved
and felt loved
and times when love seems to have
the building

there have been moments when I felt
valued, needed, and effective
and moments when I felt
despised, rejected, ineffective

times when I felt I had friends
times when I felt very much alone

my life is my story

and now
inevitably (Erik Erikson warned me)
I am reflective
wondering about the final draft

wondering if even now
so far into the manuscript
I can change the story

redeem it

if I can find within me
that sense of self I have always sought
find the friends I have never managed
to gather around me

if I can be the person I have always wanted to be

or is my path set
the story inescapable?

Sacred Presence means
the story is never fully told
never inevitable

with Sacred love there is no final draft
that leaves one trapped
in identities and patterns
that cling and bind

The presence of the sacred means we are not trapped by our stories

It may, and does feel like it sometimes
But we are not trapped by our stories

We can always, always, live a new story. 

A story written by a God
who loves us more, and can do
“immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3) according to the power at work in us”

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