Odds and ends on a cold and sick day...
Today it is cold and rainy in the Berkshires: AGAIN! It is also wonderfully green and alive, too so it is simply time to DEAL with it. I have a head cold, however, so dealing is not my long suit. I woke up on Sunday trying to convince myself that the dull aches and scratchy throat had to do with tree pollen - knowing all the while that this was a head cold - and it is...
+ We celebrated our first midday Eucharist at 12:10 pm today - a lovely and renewing time for the 8 of us who gathered for reflection - and the text was John 17: make them one as the Father and I are one. As we let the words of scripture - and sung alleluias - wash over us, a few ideas rose to the surface: our intimacy with God is not about striving but simply receiving; Jesus calls us into intimacy with God as a foundation for living; and everyone in this community of grace are equals - one with Christ and God as Jesus and the Father are one - it would seem.
+ I guess setting aside this time was the right thing to do: some who gathered are wrestling with frightening illnesses, others are seeking a sense of God's direction in their lives while others are hungry for a connection - human and holy - beyond the loneliness. Earlier today I read a colleague reflect on the challenge of provoking or comforting; she landed on the side of provoking and made a number of very good points. And, to be sure, while there are some places where provocation in the name of the Sacred is in order - so, too, is the ministry of presence (whether this is called comfort or simply contemplation.)
+ On another level entirely our electric toothbrush died two nights ago. Or it might be better to say that it had to be executed: no matter how hard we tried, the little engine would not shut off. I pushed it, I threw it on the floor and even beat it with a hammer; I tried to pull out the battery but still the little engine whirled until I finally pulverized it. Dianne had to quit her evening exercies because her sides hurt so much from laughing. Oh, that I had such perseverance in many things as that little engine!
Tomorrow we play Patrick's Pub - with a whole new collection of tunes - including some fun Beatles' songs. I pray my head cold does not slow down my dancing fingers. More and more, I feel that this decision to explore peace-making through music (and laughter and feasting, too) is truly part of my calling at this moment in history. Not just because of the recent Bin Laden-madness, but also because that region of the world has known too much of the worst side of America. And Muslims have heard way too much from the loud-mouthed bigots.
At this moment in time I find that I feel much like Willow Wilson notes in her beautiful spiritual autobiography, The Butterfly Mosque, about her journey into Islam:
The war between Islam and the West is a human conflict, in which human experience is the only reliable guide. We are all standing on the mountaintop, and we must learn to look out at the world not through the medium of self-appointed authorities, but with our own eyes."
So tomorrow night when we sing, "One Love" by Bob Marley or the Beatles', "All You Need Is Love" or even U2's "One," it won't be as a naive or foolish child of the 60s, it will be as a mature prayer. If you are in town, stop by for some great tunes, a brew or two and a prayer?