- Sunday April 10: Empty
[link to full email]: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-apr10
[excerpt from email]:
If God exists he isn’t just butter and good luck.
[God’s] also the tick that killed my wonderful dog Luke.
Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going. …
Of course for each of us, there is the daily life.
Let us live it, gesture by gesture.
When we cut the ripe melon, should we not give it thanks?
And should we not thank the knife also?
We do not live in a simple world.
– Mary Oliver, excerpts from “At the River Clarion”
“For each of us, there is the daily life. Let us live it, gesture by gesture. “. The violence, the death is overwhelming. During the past week, I stumbled onto a new gesture that has proven to be healing. Six people were killed during the mass shooting in downtown Sacramento a week ago. One of them was a homeless woman, Melinda. So I have been holding her in my heart, calling her by name. It has proven to be a way to hold it all – the named and the nameless – in a personal yet universal way. Also, I have shared this Word of the Week message with several people who have been deeply touched, as have I.
As I enter Holy Week, my heart is overwhelmed with lamentation, too full. The image of the cross by Van Gilder, draws me to pay attention to the movement of Holy Week 2022 in the “now-moment” as it is, consenting, consenting, …. alert, receptive, trusting receptivity (that is hard, the hard stone of control, or fear, or anger). It is not about me!!! I consent to being absorbed in the unfolding of God’s offering, again, this Holy Week 2022, entering into the flow of the river of life once again.
Veronica. For those who pray the Stations of the Cross, Veronica is Station 6. She steps out of the crowd. Takes a risk. Wipes the sweaty, bloody face of Jesus. She could not stop the crucifixion. So, she simply offers a bit of comfort in the moment. I often think of her when I feel overwhelmed by all the human suffering. She reminds me that I can’t fix it all, probably can’t fix much at all. But I can be present. Offer my heart. Give comfort as the opportunity appears. And, this is enough.
Sunday April 10: Empty
“We do not live in a simple world.” Loving one’s enemy is not simple. The late Dr. James E. Loder defined love as a “non-possessive delight in the particularity of the other.” I learn to delight in my own particularities be they pleasant or painful, during prayer. My role as a contemplative is to pray and release myself into the Silence until the particularities of all can be acknowledged and loved. This is hard in the face of brutalities and injustices, yet imperative for healing myself and the world. Not my will, but Thine, be done. <3 linda
Comment from Linda: “Release myself into the Silence until the particularities of all can be acknowledged “. The cries of the stones have become deafening. The armies of Putin add atrocities on top of atrocities. Here in Sacramento – while the community is mourning the deaths of six people – city crews remove 30+ people from am encampment. Most of them had nowhere to go. I find anger rising up, particularly at city officials who just days ago held candles in the darkness. Now, during a cold snap and during Holy Week, they destroy people’s property, evict them and erect a fence around the former camp. Reminds me of the fence our pastor erected in front of the church steps, blocking access to a place that had been a safe haven for many. The stones rattle in my head. So, I go into the silence, underneath the clamoring and crying and screaming. The silence embraces it all and I need do nothing but be present.
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