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

Saturday, October 10, 2020

God uses everything

The genius of Jesus’ ministry is that he embraces tragedy, suffering, pain, betrayal, and death itself to bring us to God. There are no dead ends. Everything can be transmuted, and everything can be used. Everything…


…Until there has been a journey through suffering, I don’t believe that we have true healing authority. We don’t have the ability to lead anybody anyplace new unless we have walked it ourselves to some degree. In general, we can only lead people on the spiritual journey as far as we ourselves have gone. We simply can’t talk about it beyond that. That’s why the best thing we can do for people is to stay on the journey ourselves. We transform people to the degree we have been transformed.

                               Richard Rohr (blog 9/14/2020)



everything can be used



every strength we have

every weakness too


all the knowledge we have gathered

and our ignorance too


those moments of triumph

when our hearts soared and we raised our hands to the sky

and those moments of abject failure

when cowed and beaten we were driven to our knees


Sacred can use everything



On my own journey, as I have stumbled and bumbled through life

there have been “showers of blessings”

good parents

sisters who tolerate and even love me

a heritage of faith

a good brain

a plethora of talents


and those blessings have led

I hope

to a life that mattered

as I served, variously

as minister, disaster relief worker

medical school faculty, Mental Health Director and therapist


but if I am honest

whatever capacity I have

to be a leader, a teacher, a healing


has been most deeply nourished

by those parts of me that are wounded


I have been not only shaped

but transformed, redeemed

by my anxiety

and by my struggles with self-esteem

by my impulsive nature


by my passion

which can be both a blessing and a curse


it has been the dark moments

the times when life caved in

the times when I failed

the times when I wandered aimlessly in dysfunction


that have created the most growth

and have given me whatever ability I have

to be a person of compassion



generosity, and kindness


it is in part because I have “been there”

and have walked with the Sacred through the darkness

that I have deep wisdom


Sacred can use everything

from my ignorance has come wisdom

from my wounds has come healing, and the ability to heal others

Sacred can use everything

even this moment in history

as our nation stumbles through the darkness of COVID

as we stumble without leadership

as predators gnaw on the bones of our democracy

and violence stalks the streets

as we watch our forests burn

and our climate change


and watch the dark specter of authoritarianism threaten to change the very nature of our nation, profoundly


as a nation we have been blest in so many ways

this amazing land

bright people




we have rarely been tested

we have rarely felt the kind of pain other nations have gone through

oh there have been moments,

when we have rushed in, the strong hero nation

to confront evil


there have been brief moments when the pain

of the world has intruded

when the worlds violence became our violence

as on 9/11


but now

the pain is ours

maybe it is not that the pain is really all that new

maybe we are just finally willing to see those places where we are ill

our racism

our love of power

our greed


maybe it is just that it has now been revealed

but this is a moment of trial


we are ill, wounded, staggering

and like to fall


Sacred uses everything



and that creative, sustaining, loving power

that permeates all

will use this moment


to humble

to soften

to teach


will use this moment

to help us become better people

a better nation


will use this moment to teach us the importance of empathy

and generosity

and equity

and equality

and kindness


and will walk with us through the darkness

toward the light

saddened, wounded, but transformed



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