Dancing angels...

In some ways, nothing in life really makes sense. This morning four rabbis in
Jerusalem were murdered as they prayed by two men who felt that Jewish prayers deserved Muslim meat cleavers offered upon innocent flesh. Yesterday, a Palestinian bus driver was found beaten and hanged; Israeli police say it was probably suicide but friends and family are suspicious. Today, loved ones were trying to make sense of raising adolescent children in the hyper-sexualized age of the internet while I prayed in the sweet serenity of my home over images of Christ the Upside-Down King. Tonight my band mates and I sang songs of hope, peace and beauty even as some hearts were breaking in despair and depression. 

The only thing that makes consistent sense to me is tenderness. It doesn't answer every question nor does it solve every lament. But when I don't know what else to do, it matters to reach out in love. It matters to listen. It maters to hold those I cherish. And so I trust that this is enough for the moment. Mary Oliver wrote this in her most recent book of poems. She calls it "Angels."

You might see an angel anytime
and anywhere. Of course you have 
to pen our eyes to a kind of
second level, but it's not really
hard. The whole business of
what's reality and what isn't has
never been solved and probably
never will be. So I don't care to
be too definite about anything.
I have a lot of edges called Perhaps
and almost nothing you can call
Certainty. For myself, but now
for other people. That's a place
you just can't get into, not
entirely anyway, other people's
heads.

I'll just leave you with this.
I don't care how many angels can
dance on the head of a pin. It's
enough to know that for some people
they exist, and that they dance. 

I see angels dancing when I hold my lover in hard times. I see angels dancing when a little girl from church befriends my wounded dog with her embrace so that both seem to hug one another - at least for a moment. I see angels dance in our choir rehearsals and in my silent prayers where tears flow as fast as rain. I see angels dance when a local synagogue joins with some of my members to study and pray and ask hard questions about the possibility of peace and justice ever coming to a broken and polarized land we love so dearly? 

I don't have a lot of certainty - many edges that sound more like perhaps ring true to me - but like Ms. Oliver I give thanks that angels exist for some of us - and that they are dancing among us even tonight.

Comments

RJ said…
So good to hear from you Phil...
Peter said…
And on the water beneath the ice, and in the embraces if courage we give one another...
RJ said…
Amen to that my brother...

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