Thursday, June 7, 2018

small is hard, small is real, small is how the world is healed...

Every day for the last week I have taken a seat in my study to ponder and share a written reflection for the day. Some-times these have involved music, often I share thoughts on matters spiritual or cultural, and from time to time I lifted up aspects of my own journey into faith. Curiously, as this week matured,  I found that I just didn't have anything of value to say. Or write. Or comment upon. Mostly, you see, at this moment in life I just want to smell the lilacs, play music with the band, Famous Before We're Dead (check it out @ https://www.facebook .com/famoushal/?ref=bookmark), make supper for my family, do yard work, or get back to my faith community at L'Arche Ottawa.

I have been writing a new song, but it isn't going well. I am trying to ground it in Jean Vanier's wisdom re: "The 10 Foot Rule." He reminds us that there is a connection between hope and proximity. As the founder of L'Arche, an international community of people living together in love with those with intellectual disabilities, Vanier has observed that too often our hearts become broken because we obsess on tragedies too far away from our daily lives. Why not reach out and touch the wounds of those close by he asks? These are the people we can really love. Help. Cherish. These are the souls who might also heal our own wounds. The charism of L'Arche is simple but profound: ordinary people are invited to make a disciplined commitment to small acts of love - not inflated acts of heroism - just little acts of human compassion within the context of everyday life. My chorus gets close to capturing this blessing:  

Small is me, small is you, 
Small is love that rings true
Small is hard, small is real, 
Small is how the world is healed

Most of the verses, however, still feel clunky. Part of one rings true, but more work and time are in order for the rest:

Touch the wound in front of you – this is all that you can do
Keep it close – not far away – cherish what is real today
Small is holy

For a guy who has had a LOT to say about life, culture, spirituality and faith over the past forty years, it is a little disarming to find myself so quiet. Clearly, this is a season for sitting with a new reality and letting it nourish me.

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