Application of solution in a problem set that is not as defined. The if only solving…
When the whole of the system engages and enrolls in the solving… then the solving is a solving. When the solving is based in prejudicial framing of the elements, then the solving is … as shifting sand.
The speaking… framing by label. Creates the shifting sand.
“… ‘I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again?…” John 9:18-41
Perhaps in the severing … there is a moment of creating linking.
Perhaps … in the severing, there is the raising up … of the altar in the wide world.
Listening through a reading that my eyes say to my ears… A rationalization through reporting of an application of rules across the entire span of the world. Though the fact patterns of understanding and belief are different across the whole, still, the rule is applied. A set of rigid ‘knowing’ that, when applied … leads to formation of so many levels of shift.
In some places, it just means that those who would not or could not, follow the dictum… will disappear from the ranks of those in company. And so, now outside, will continue a relationship with all creation. The dictum, meant to keep pure, creates another linkage or path… one that creates a new set of relationships. The severing by dictum… creation of yet another set of faith links.
At the same time, reading about the faithful unchurched. A fine writing that talks about the mourning of the passing of a place that was formative… and now … coming to terms in that place of expectant projection that the ‘church’ need not be perfect. It just needs faithful servants. The deep and troubling sense that in a dying community, the plaintive desire to have faithful servants is a teaching of servitude… On is not the other.
Last night, enjoying the monthly men’s club. A throw back of a gathering that has some taint of misogyny… and yet, in the breaking of bread, the sharing of story, the gathering together in a jumble of community… sharing pictures of children, now grown… sharing stories… some are old saws… told so often that there is not a sentence that can be a surprise to most of the listeners… all of this in a gathering of men. The club; growing with added generations. It may not survive another ten years… yet, it is a gift in this moment.
When a narrative is demanded in explanation … sometimes there is something in the demand, the demand that a story become a description of … of a world that makes the listener more comfortable … yet, the narrative … our story, it is of our stones, our partners, our hits, our misses. It is that moment of … just being in a story that is of comfort in the face of … at times, great discomfort.
Walking through the doors of a church that was once home… and is home no more… even when that place is in this, the home town… it is something that appears to be a demand of faith. Yet, the greater altar in the world is a church that invites attendance in every moment.
I neighbor who performed a great service was at dinner last night. I asked if he was going to send me a bill for the service… “Are you kidding,” he replied? “It took me all of 20 minutes.” His gift of twenty minutes saved me hours of anguish. I great and faithful gift of community. A gift of neighbor. A gift of friend. That is my church. Imperfect. Full of mission in community. It is the sunrise. It is the sun set. It is the workplace. It is the mail carrier. It is a political machine working to a greater good. It is the arc of an ending of career, seeking legacy. It is the old order, holding on and making the rules more and more to preserve… It is the dancing of the dogs in the morning and the smile of a small child dancing in the hall outside my office cube. It is the altar of a friend’s son, watching a movie and laughing … twinkling of the eye. It is the sadness at an old friend’s passing. It is the lifting up of a college classmate as a grandchild comes into the world. It is the celebration of parents health and healing in the arc of aging. It is the passing of a year in the life of each child… it is all of these and so, so much more.
I miss the rubric of the service. I miss the comfort of the hymn and the wonder of a reading; read well. I miss the gathering of choir … the preparation of the anthem, the sharing of humor in the loft, the long discussion of a service… planning for a celebration… the wonder of a mass, concluded in silence and reverence… the gathering of children… the crying of a child where the entire congregation breathes comfort to partner parents… raising up this song of living… In the houses that are declared sacred, there seems little room for this lifting up. The easing away of a generation… in sacred sense… there is something … easing away.
This altar in the world is something of a mystery. The altar, constrained in a building is equally so. The dictum of each is the chasm of living both on the mountain top and in the canyon. The valley between is home. As too are the mountain tops. That tithe that is all of what I am, it is given in places of wonder. It is given in small and large … and returned in the same coin. The gift of all creation speaks in the most unusual moments… That place is … a moment of just so. Just so indeed.
And so, in narrative, that story made up… the gift of this dawning day is to muse in a story told and the demand to tell it again. This time, each element of the telling is honored and owned. The best in the moment. In that owning, there is also a sense of permission to celebrate at the altar in the world.
The church… the altar in the world. Amen, and amen.
04-07-19 A ripple in the linkage across all creation
Sleep was filled with disjointed dreams. Dreams of connections, apparent; yet falling away as if a stage falling away from a speeding rocket. Spent and falling away. In olden times, that stage would then fall to the earth and be sunk in the sea as fodder from the sky. These days… the stage is landed and reused… sometimes.
We are in a time of sometimes. That transition of a from what to a to what… That wonder of links apparently broken and yet linked in so many ways … the falling away, in so many cases actually moving to a set of other links.
When the connection is all to … me; the shift is a wild pulling and tearing. Wild, at times painful and always a challenge. In the renewal this spring, of so many parts of my immediate world… that tearing and reconnecting is strong. The renewal of the plumbing. The renewal of the water system. The renewal of … each aspect of … means a tearing out and then a building back in. The opening of space to allow replacing, renewing, and finding path. The discerning of connections that worked at one time and now, with shift, no longer flow. In that discerning. … In that discerning there is an awakening to opportunity. Seeing what appeared sacred in a new set of ways. Just so… learning something beyond. That place of … It is a great and gracious moment. This wonder… indeed.
Feeling the work of the pulling and pushing… In yesterday’s renewal of space of tank house and garage. That making anew.
Now it is morning… actually, moving quickly to afternoon…
And the gratefulness of yesterday’s work, into today’s putter. The wonder of… just sitting in this moment. That is enough. In grateful moment… enough.
“… saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?” John 5:1-18
It is comforting to have the dogs wake up and start asking to go out at a certain time. It doesn’t matter that they were keeping me safe from some ‘heard’ thing … just three hours ago. The wagging and smiles… the wonder at seeing, as if for the first time, yet again, what is out there in the world… the excitement of ‘come and see.’
It is comforting to wake and walk out the door to get the papers. That short walk from front door, out the gate and to stoop down to pick them up. In the walk, to take the pulse of the morning. To breathe in that air of the new day. Checking the tank for water. Having a conversation with the dogs… security. A new moment.
It is comforting to breathe in and breathe out. It is comforting to see the clouds in the sky and to hear the harvest all around. It is comforting to be wakened in the night with security … saying that they need to go and see… later… saying that they are ready to come in.
In this comfort is also the still small voice. That voice of wellness in each breath. The answer is yes. For the question is … the comfort in… Do you want to be made well? In gladness and deep lenten preparation, yes.
There is comfort in the question. There is comfort in the reflection. There is comfort in the conviction… the invitation to conviction. And the renewal in breathing in creation. All of a moment. All of a morning. All of each morning. In humbling seeing. The laugh at the wonder of the joke. And in that … comfort in all of this wonder. Comfort in…