Welcome

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, February 19, 2024

The Promise is Enough

It seems as if the “winter of our discontent”

will never turn into “glorious summer”

 

the darkness is so profound

late December early January darkness

that smothers and obliterates

 

leaving us lost and overwhelmed

 

this darkness rolls like storm clouds

obliterating the light

the fear deluges us, the lies

overwhelmed by pervasive hate

and foul greed

 

Evil ones promise shelter

But merely seed the clouds with more fear

More lies

 

We stand exposed

And face the storm

Small

So small

 

in these moments, bowed and cowed

I do not want to be small

I do not want to be a mustard seed, a touch of yeast

 

I want to be lightening and thunder

Earthquake and fire

I want to be a tsunami

That roars

 

But I am just me

One person

One voice

One heart

Small

 

With my little touch of faith

My little bit of love, and hope, and joy

Those meager resources I can share

With those whose lives I touch

 

But the promise is

That is enough


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

slow to anger, easy to calm

There are four kinds of temperament:

 

Easy to anger, easy to calm – the negative is canceled by the positive

Hard to anger, hard to calm – the positive is canceled by the negative

Hard to anger, easy to calm – such people are truly holy.

Easy to anger, hard to calm – such people are truly wicked

          V:14 Wisdom of the Jewish Sages (Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro)

_____________________________

 

It rises too quickly

This anger that eats at my soul

 

I like to believe it is righteous

This indignation

 

This ferocity that rises when I hear the lies

See the injustice, the racism

The fire that burns fiercely when I see suppression and oppression

When I watch people misinformed and mislead

And sucked into the abyss of fear

 

There is a place for anger

For the prognostications of the prophets

For the fierce burning God places upon the heart

For the agony that comes when we see

The rich plunder and see the poor abandoned

When we watch the powerful abuse their power

And see precious souls dehumanized and marginalized by racism, sexism, fascism

All the “isms” of the world

 

But we cannot live in anger

We cannot carry hate

Without becoming a force for harm

 

Even if we are on the side of righteousness

Unchecked anger becomes destructive

 

Anger distorts, even blinds

Anger becomes a powerful energy that leads to excess

To rigidity

To judgment

Exclusion

Even violence, a violence that emerges in many ways

 

We need calm

We need to find a quieter and gentler place

We need to find space in our heads, and even more

In our hearts

 

Where, as we breathe in and breathe out

We create room for love

And compassion

Generosity

Even forgiveness

 

Jesus got angry, but it took a lot

It took greed camping out in the place of holiness

But Jesus had a peace that passes all understanding

The calmness of watching betrayal

Of healing another, while being arrested

Of forgiving from the cross

 

He saw it all

He felt it all

The fire burned

But it did not consume

And he found that calm at the center of his soul

That allowed him to respond to the evil around him

Not with evil, but with love

 

Lord, this day

Help me to be slow to anger

And easy to calm

 

Help me to be holy


Saturday, February 10, 2024

Finding the words

If I can find the words in my mind

The words could explain, but the words won't come…

And I don't know what to say

          The Zombies, Chris White

__________________________________

 

It is like a silent scream

It builds inside me, filling me until I am stretched

 

Engorged

 

Unable to contain it all and yet

Caught with the unutterable

 

All around me, there is pain, anger, fear, distrust, hate

There are people trusting the deceitful,

living a lie

living without insight or understanding

 

pushing our world into the abyss

of climate change, division, and war

 

I pick it up and carry it

The slide into fascism

The racism

The inhumanity at the border

 

I pick it up and carry it

the pain of those I listen to and counsel

those who come to me with their own fear and pain

 

words spill out

there are always words

but they seem to get lost

 

I speak from the pulpit, and the words twist and vanish

Do they touch hearts?  Heal souls?

In counseling, I seek to say words that will unlock insight,

help people heal themselves (or their relationships)

but do I help?

 

Amid many words, I feel wordless

as if the words needed somehow

don’t come

 

not the right words

not

the kinds words

the healing words

the Spirit Words

 

those, perhaps, are stuck in my throat

in my heart

perhaps those Spirit Words are entangled

in my own inner chaos

 

I know I cannot “fix” the world

that it is not my job to heal people

they have to do that themselves

I am no Jonah, no Isaiah

Who can turn a city, and nation around

 

but I can speak words of love

of hope

of joy

 

I can speak words that open doors,

create space

raise questions

 

For today I will speak to God

I will shout to the skies

I will curse, perhaps

Lament

 

I will cry out for release

and will

try to find the words

to say to all I

I love you


Saturday, February 3, 2024

How Long

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

          Psalm 13

 

"Open wide the door of your formless heart and allow God to God in you."

Conor McCourt (Whispers from the Sanctuary

___________________________________________

 

I have heard it said

that we have shapeless hearts

we are creatures unformed

 

ready to be shaped and molded

 

it matters, it seems

what we take into our souls

what we read

who we listen to

whom we trust

 

we cannot remain empty

for the world assails us

we sink deep into the depths and the pressure grows

as we watch the machinations of human creatures

who have lost their compassion

who have chosen the way of power and cruelty

 

we watch liars adored

the rich prosper, the poor suffer

we see evil people prosper

and good people die too young

 

we watch as the planet burns

and humans rain death and destruction on other humans

we watch children killed

We see the blood on the floor of American schools

The shattered bodies of Palestinian, Israeli, Ukrainian children

 

It is all too much

 

empty we would implode

and so we seek to fill ourselves

we look for a savior

 

desperately seeking we consume whatever we think

will keep us powerful, wealthy, safe

 

and our shapeless hearts are shaped

by whatever we draw into ourselves

by whomever we choose to listen to, and follow

 

it is easy in our pain, our fear

to choose poorly

to seek power, or wealth

to choose the path of domination and control

to lust for retribution

 

so easy

 

and thus we let hate-filled leaders

fill us with hate

people caught up in greed, seduce us with promises of wealth

people filled with resentment fill us with a desire to hurt and punish

 

our shapeless hearts become hard

and we respond to pain by creating more pain

to violence by creating more violence

to hate by creating more hate

 

we drop bombs

send drones

close borders

shame and abandon the vulnerable

embrace racism

pursue power and wealth

 

This is why the wicked prosper

 

Open our hearts, O Beloved one

Open our shapeless hearts

And fill them with your presence

 

The world is a mess

The evil do prosper

Justice is a joke

Equity is a distant dream

 

Fearmongers on the right

Fearmongers on the left

And there we are in the middle

 

Crying out “How long!”

 

Shape our hearts O Lord

So that we may resist the world with love

So that in the midst of our lament, we may still love

So that as everything falls apart around us

We may still love

 

 


Friday, February 2, 2024

love alone

It was as if

all the miseries of human creatures

had rained down

 

pain and hate and fear

searing the soil, consuming the fragile buds of the acacia tree

leaving nothing

but stones

 

there with only a stone for a pillow, he sat

this beloved child

surrounded by whisperings

 

make this stone bread

 

It is all yours if you want it

All the power!  Grab it

All the fame and fortune!

 

You can be king of the world

Yes, you can!

 

There is that place where there was only want

Where there was every excuse to grab power

The Beloved chose another way

 

He did become exalted, with a name that is above every name,

He did become one to whom every knee should bow and tongue confess

But not by grabbing power

 

 

He humbled himself

He gave it all up

The power, the glory,

Even life

 

To love us to God

To show us the way

 

Power without love becomes cruel

Heartless

Cruel

 

Greg Abbott

Donald Trump

And so many more

 

Some, wanting what is wrong

Some, perhaps, wanting what is right

Have heard the whisperings

And responded

 

Have chosen to grab power

To control, to dominate, to coerce, to punish

 

There is no right relationship possible here

Just walls

Just people with power, and people without

People with, and people without

People winning and people losing

People turning other people into objects

To be “acquired, controlled, used and discarded” (Spellers)

For power

 

The world has never gotten better

We have moved no closer to the Kindom of God

When the state, the church, and individual Christians

Have listened to The Whisperer

 

It has only gotten crueler

More deadly

More unjust

More divided

 

We have not learned

That we can have it all, and have nothing

And we can have nothing and have it all

 

What good is it

If we win the world

But lose our souls

 

There is only one path to true power

One path to the Kindom

One path

 

Paul said it well

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil 2)

 

The path of humility

And servanthood

 

Jesus showed us the way

It is not an easy way

It seems nonsensical. It seems impossible, weak

 

We act as if Jesus was wrong

But if the cross shows us anything

It shows us that the power of God shows up most

When we are humble

When we cede

When we serve

When we love

 

There is a way other than domination

Maybe we ought to try it.

____________________________________

 

There is no possibility for right relationship if one powerful group protects and sustains itself over and against all others. From there, it’s just too easy to construct binaries and hierarchies of human existence. Our group is good; all of you are bad. Our group belongs on top; we have to keep you low. Our group owns these resources and knows the best way to use them; you will only receive what we give you. Other members of the human family become objects and tools to be acquired, controlled, used, and discarded.

          Stephanie Spellers, The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New

Hope for Beloved Community (New York: Church Publishing, 2021), 39.

 

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Justice without love is not justice. Love without justice is not love.

 Mother Teresa

 

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

          Paul

 


Friday, January 26, 2024

Beyond comfort

There is nothing more confusing to the postmodern personality, to the millennial sojourner, than to have to exist between the strange life of dealing with your Blues and Gospel all the time. Madness and ministry, chaos and Christ. My father heard an elder in Georgia say it this way. When he asked her, “How are you doing, Mother?” she said, “I’m living between Oh Lord and Thank you, Jesus.”

          Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

______________________________________________

 

I have never been oppressed

I have been treated unfairly,

And accused of things that are not true

 

But most of my pain has been of my own making

And most of the flaws and errors attributed

Have been real

 

As a white male

Raised in relative affluence by decent parents

As a person with tons of privilege

A great education

Degrees and influence

 

Whatever obstacles I have faced in life

Have been minimal

I don’t know how it feels to be black, or indigenous

To deal with systematic oppression

Or with transgenerational trauma

 

I have been

Comfortable

For lack of a better word

 

And then along comes Jesus

Not the Jesus I met in the Sunday School classroom

In the basement of the Presbyterian Church in Lakeview, Oregon.

The Jesus introduced to me by my youth group leaders

Or those ministers who influenced me in college

Not even the one sliced and diced by my seminary professors at Princeton

 

Not a Jesus who is a ticket to heaven (get me out of here God!)

Not a Jesus who wants me to pull away from a sinful world

And huddle in fear

Nor a Jesus who wants me to grab power and wealth and control the world

(still out of fear)

Not a Jesus who is about exclusion, and piety

And, if truth were told, retribution not grace

 

The things I was taught about Jesus which no longer seem true

Could fill a book

 

But along comes Jesus

 

A Jesus who says (Mark 1)

“The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near.

  Repent and believe the good news!”

 

A Jesus who calls me to let go of everything

To die!

So that I might be raised to newness

 

A Jesus who is real, powerful,

Who fills me with a little bit of everything that is Sacred

Joy, hope, peace, kindness, forgiveness,

And yes, pain

 

Pain over the pain I see

Anguish over the injustice and inequity

Over poverty

Racism

Hate

 

A Jesus who wants me to change

To turn from all that is not love

To become the best self I can possibly be

 

Not to escape wrath

But to become a person who touches the people around me

With Sacred Love

And works to change the world into the likeness of heaven

Who strives to bring the kindom of God nearer

 

So here I am

Living between

Oh Lord and Thank you, Jesus.

 

Seeing the world

Being stunned by the greed, the hate

The lust for power

The lies

The distortion of the Gospel

The malignancy

 

Seeing myself in the mirror

Still a mess

Still so full of confusion and fear

Still making mistakes that hurt others, and me

 

And yet being so thankful

For Jesus

For resurrection

For newness

For the power I am given to work for Love

 

O Lord, help!

Thank you, Jesus, for all good things

 

The time has come

The kindom is near

I need to change

The world needs to change

I am called to change

I am called to participate in creating change

 

Not by insisting on dominance and control

But by loving, forgiving, caring, sharing

 

Oh, Lord!  (Help!)

Thank you, Jesus,

 


Friday, January 19, 2024

I can only believe

It haunts me

Lingering in my mind

Like the foul stench of something dead that I cannot find

 

It sticks to my clothes

My mind, my heart

And I cannot wash it away

 

With good thoughts

Or good theology

 

It is the smell of hate, fear, resentment,

And vindictiveness

 

My four horsemen of the apocalypse

 

We live in a world dominated by malefaction

These profane powers eat away

At the fabric of decency like a cancer

 

Until people believe the lies

Support the unsupportable

Abandon not just truth but compassion

Justice

Equity

 

And all that is love and light

Seems overwhelmed

 

Powerless

 

Ezekiel like I am looking out on a valley of dry bones

As 30% of those around me believe a proven lie

And people of “faith” worship a vile person

Who, fists clenched, face and voice distorted

Ridicules, dehumanizes, and incites

 

We are stripped clean of wisdom and decency

 

Can these bones live?

Can these bones live?

 

I have to believe

I do believe

Lord, help my unbelief

 

This is what faith is about

Faith in a God of creativity and love

A God of justice and compassion

 

A God who cares

 

I do not know how

I do not know when

I only know

 

That this God is turn to

This God who is as close as my breath

This God who came, and lived among us

Paradoxically

Three and one

Human divine

Power and humility

 

This God can and will

Bring these bones to life

 

There has been evil before

There will always be evil

Foul souls will always seek and sometimes gain power

Ascendence

 

But always God is present

Working

Working through weakness and humility

Through kindness and grace

Working, working, working

 

Until in the driest, most lifeless moments

there is “a noise, a rattling sound,

and the bones come together, bone to bone…

and tendons and flesh appear on them and skin covers them,

and the breath of God

breathes life

 

and love wins

in ways small, ways large

ways obvious, ways hidden

 

I do not know what happens

To those people of the lie

To those who hate and destroy

And wallow in resentment and retribution

 

I cannot (yet) wish them well

But I cannot wish the hell

 

I can only hope for transformation

For restoration

For the light to shine in the darkness

 

I can only believe


Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Bless the echthroi

The echthroi are those who would separate us from stars and each other, un-Name, annihilate.  The fallen angels are echthroi, and so are disease and famine and hate nad vanity and a host of other little nasty things.  The echthroi would teach us despair, indifference, would have us believe that unmerited suffering is deliberately inflicted on the creature by an angry Creator.  The echthroi are forensic. They are powerful.  But love is greater

          Madeleine L’Engle

 

Oh that you would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me; those who speak of you maliciously, and lift themselves against you for evil!

Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise against you? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

Search ME, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

          Psalm 139

______________________________________________

 

The world, it seems

Is filled with echthroi

With those who would separate and divide

 

The echthroi are everywhere

These fallen angels perhaps

This fallen humanity

 

Sometimes, it seems, they are people

We know their names

Those who stir up hate and enmity

Those who use fear and lies to manipulate and divide

To create violence

 

Sometimes they are bigger, more pervasive

Poverty, War, Disease and Dis-ease

And that lust for power and wealth

 

They can be anything

Even our own families (Mathew 10)

 

Anything that becomes more important than Sacred, than Love

Anything that hardens the heart and blinds us to others

And blinds us to ourselves

 

We feel the enmity

It lingers in our souls

That creeping hate, that foul malignancy

 

It eats away at us

And it separates us from ourselves

And it separates us from all that is Sacred

The stars, the moon, the sun

The planet

 

From Love

 

It feels as if the world is full of these “monsters”

These Echthroi

As if we are powerless before them

 

And so we lash out

We become violent in our souls

We become violent with our words

We become violent

 

And we hate

We hate the hate

We hate the haters

And in hating we become what we hate

 

But hear the good news of the Gospel

The Echthroni are powerful

Love is more powerful

Humility is more powerful

 

Love can say to hate,

“This stops here”

 

Let’s hear it for “hate interrupted”

For that moment when we stop and breathe

And become open

 

When Love stops us in the middle of our rant

“Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise against you? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.”

 

And takes us to that new place

“Search ME, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

 

These are troubling times

It is easy to despair

It is easy to slide into the abyss of hate

 

But this I believe

The more we resist the Echthroi with their own weapons

Hate

The more powerful they become

 

But the more we open ourselves up to love

To our “better angels”

To hope, and joy, and peace

 

The less room there is for the Echthroi

The less power they have

 

So bless those I love

Bless those I hate

Bless the echthroi

 

Let me hold them all out to the love of God

 

This is not easy

It is not soft, cozy, shallow love

It means stepping into the fear, the hate, the blind animosity

And holding it

Carrying it

 

As Jesus carried it all

To the cross

 

So bless the bullies

Bless the haters

Bless them so that they may turn

From anger, resentment, and violence

 

Into the light of God’s love

 

 

PS  This I know to be true.  I am not there, yet.  But I am trying

 


Saturday, January 13, 2024

Time to stand

The hate is terrifying

The anger is terrifying

The lies are terrifying

 

Pour out of a person who would lead us

Into the abyss of hate, anger, and lies

 

More terrifying still

Is the adoration, the allegiance to the contagious hate

More frightening is the way

We are all affected

 

How some follow and some resist

But own in all of us

‘the worst ‘ emerged

How such horrible things are drawn out of us

And into the world

 

Hate begets hate

Violence, violence

And lies trap us in a circle of deception

From which we cannot escape

 

This is not new

It has happened over and over again

This slow slide into cruelty and violence

Into control and punishment

 

Into domination

In those attempts to oppress, suppress

Even eradicate

‘the other’

 

Jesus came into such a world

And he taught a different way

He gave us the antidote

 

Love

Love and the fruits of love

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

 

But when I look at many of those who claim to follow Jesus

When I look at many of those who say they are Christian

I wonder if Jesus would want to be one

 

Tony Campolo once said,

“If we were to set out to establish a religion in polar opposition to the Beatitude Jesus taught, it would look strikingly similar to the pop Christianity in North America”

 

When we look at much of Christendom today

We don’t see much love

We see people who hate gays

Who hate “liberals”

 

Who side with abusive power

Violence

Greed

Lies

Manipulation

Coercion

 

Shane Claibourne suggests

That what we see is “Christian extremists who have declared war

In the name of the lamb”

 

And in this war, they have aligned themselves

With an ideological movement

And a person

That is antithetical to Jesus

 

We need extremists

But we need extremists for love and grace

Not wealth and power

 

Our problem is that the way of Jesus

The way of

Love your enemy

Bless those who curse you

Turn the other cheek

Walk the second mile

Give up your life

 

Seems so defeating

As if we are being asked to masochistically let others

Walk all over us

 

I don’t think we are asked to give in to the terrorists

Walter Wink suggests that the option is not

Violence or abject passivity

That it is neither assault nor submission

 

But a third way

The way of standing up

Being present

Looking the other person in the eye

 

This is not cowering or running

It is confronting in a way that forces

The other to see (at some level)

Your humanity (which they try so hard to deny)

 

We ask them to “see” us

And we attempt to “see” them

Their poverty, in the midst of their wealth

Their fear and weakness, amid their attempts to hold power

 

We have two goals

To resist!  And we must resist

And to resist in a way that does not mirror, does not emulate

That which we resist

 

Our goal is to neutralize the oppressors

Not destroy them

Our goal is to interrupt the violence and oppression in

A way that seeks redemption and restoration

 

I cannot seek the destruction of Trump

Or I will lose even if I win

I must somehow seek his restoration and redemption

 

Much of me rebels, even as I say that

For there is a side of me (there is always that side)

That wants retribution

 

But I cannot become him

I cannot devolve into name-calling

Ridicule

Threats

Lies

Hate

 

Or I lose

And the Kindom of God loses

 

And in a way

All that is hate and violence wins

 

And I cannot go down that path

With those who in their fear and pain and emptiness

Follow the way of fear and pain and emptiness

Which looks like domination and exclusion

 

We are in terrifying times

We could lose our country

 

We could lose our planet to greed

We could see the end of

Justice

Equity

Truth

 

So we have to stand

As the prophets of old stood

And with prophetic imagination challenged the people of Israel

(who rarely listened)

As Martin Luther King Jr

And Gandhi

And Nelson Mandela

And Desmond Tutu

And Dag Hammarskjold

stood

 

And look hate in the eye

And say

This stops here

 

We need to become extremists for love


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

redemptive love

Ironically, most violence comes from a deep desire for justice.  No one likes weeds in their garden.  And no one likes evil in the world.  We all would like to rid the world of evil, which is probably why all the talk of good and evil so is attractive.  But the problem, says Jesus, is that if we try to pull up the weeds from the garden we will rip the wheat up too…The big question comes to be what to do with evil.

          Shane Claibourne

________________________

 

What do we do with evil?

It’s complicated!

 

What is evil?

Everyone has their own idea!

 

Evil are the LGBTQI+

Evil are the pro-choice people

Evil are those liberal (godless) socialists

Evil are

 

Evil are the authoritarians

Evil are the gun lovers

Evil are the greedy

Evil are

 

Evil are “they”

Those people

 

The fact is, there are a lot of ills in this world

A lot of people do things that harm other people

And damage the planet

And harm themselves

 

All up and down the spectrum

All means all

 

There is nothing wrong with understanding that this world is a mess

That we human creatures are not living out our full potential

As Sacred children

 

But there is a problem when we affirm our own purity

But labeling the rest of the world as dirty

And decide to weed the garden (Matthew 13)

 

The problem is when we move to redemptive violence

That is not the way God works

(even though we have insisted it is for so long)

 

The birth made it clear

The Beatitudes made it clear

The cross, above all, makes it clear

 

Redemptive violence is not the way

Dominance.  Control.  Coercion. Punishment

Fear

 

Not the way

Violence doesn’t save; it only destroys in both the short and long term.

 

For every Muslim extremist killed, another is birthed

As one peacemaker once noted:

“Drones, creating enemies faster than they can kill them” (Benjamin Corey)

Gaza is not redemptive violence

It is just violence, creating another generation of people with a reason to hate

 

As Claibourne and others have noted,

Violence begets violence

Hatred begets hatred

 

And love begets love

 

“Jesus replaced the myth of redemptive violence with the truth of redemptive suffering. He showed us on the cross how to hold the pain and let it transform us, rather than pass it on to the others around us.” (Richard Rohr)

 

When we seek to destroy all that is not pure in the world,

We end up destroying everything and evil flourishes

It is only when we seek to love our enemies

That evil will diminish

 

It seems illogical

And everything in our system screams against it!

 

Yes, but…

Yes, but…

 

But what if liberals instead of demonizing conservatives

Had sought to love them and listen to them?

What if those who prize fetuses sought to love the women carrying them

And listened to their fear and pain?

 

What if?

I know

I know

 

It is complicated.

I am not saying I could do what Jesus did

Accept the injustice and cruelty

Look hate in the eye and say

“God forgive them”

 

I am not saying I know what to do with

The racists

Those who believe violence is the answer

Authoritarians who would destroy everything for their egos

 

I am not saying I know what to do with those

Who lie, hate, horde, promote violence,

Those who harm

 

The pedophiles, the murders, the sexual predators

 

But I know that I am challenged to see them

The way Jesus sees them

To see that a spark of the Sacred still remains

And to enter into their fear and pain

And try

Try

As best I can to love them

Hoping to help them into newness even as I see newness for myself

 

One of my favorite groups is the Dollyrots!

Yep

And they did a cover of Auld Lang Syne

In which they ask everyone to do two things every day in the coming year

 

First, get up every morning and do something that makes one’s self feel better

And then, second, do something for someone else that makes them feel better

 

Not a bad way of living

Methinks

 

Love God

Then love self (in a healthy way)

Then love others

 

That is how redemption happens

 


Monday, January 1, 2024

New Years

Come to Me/ Goo Goo Dolls

 

Come to me my sweetest friend

Can you feel my heart again

I'll take you back where you belong

And this will be our favorite song

Come to me with secrets bare

I'll love you more so don't be scared

When we're old and near the end

We'll go home and start again

Start again

________________________________

 

2023 comes whimpering to an end

It has been a year

I come to this place tired, dealing with pain

Angry, at times

Sad, at times

 

I also come to this place understanding in a way I never have before

Impermanence

 

Which is perhaps the same as saying we are dust

But is mostly a way to remind ourselves

 

That we are constantly connecting with life

With others

And with the Sacred in such a way

 

That we constantly let go

And hand in hand with Love

Start again

And again, and again

 

New Years is a pale shadow

Of a reality we are to live each moment of our lives

 

Letting go of what was

Dying, so to speak

And being born again

Into whatever is next

 

There are many “whatever is next” moments in our lives

And in those moments we feel fragmented and vulnerable

Tumbled about

 

But there is a next

And if we let the Sacred ‘feel our hearts’ again

Then that next can be transformation

A starting over, and over and over

 

It is not just change

“Change of itself just happens;

spiritual transformation is an active process of letting go,

living in the confusing dark space for a while,

and allowing yourself to be spit up on a new and unexpected shore.” (Rohr)

 

So on this last day of 2023 join me in looking back, but only briefly

Look back, as much as is possible with gratitude

Then let of the anger and guilt, disappointment and frustration

Let go even of the comfortable, if there was any

 

It is a time to celebrate endings

And yes, there are endings

And yes, perhaps every thing shall come to an end at some point

My life

Your life

This country (that seems like a real possibility)

This world

 

But each ending is a beginning

And faith is trust

It is trusting Love enough to let go of the past

And with eyes wide open, move into newness

whatever it might turn out to be.”

 

So take that Kierkegaardian leap of faith

Take the hand of the sacred

And step into what is new

Start again

And again