Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weathering Storms + Finding Shoulders To Stand On

So, in my life and times…this month has been madness but mostly good. Apologies for a bit of a departure from blog posting and newsletter sending and all that jazz. This last week of June will be the catch-up week!

Pain has been down to a minimum and breathing at a leveled point until just recently–it seems that my lungs and my muscular condition are not partial to humid rains and tornadic forecasts. But that besides the rest has been good although definitely strenuous.

Crazy meetings and planning and website re-designing for the Worship Service I am starting September 16th. I had to totally overhaul the website and learn a bunch of html and css to strip a free blogger site of all its blogger-ocity so it looked like a real website, but I think I finally got it to a point of near satisfaction although I have some content still to add. I would love anyone who likes to check it out–I am always up for feedback and critique:

 I was reminded, per usual, in only that way that God does so well (better than the timing of a novel and more profoundly metaphoric) in the Gospel reading for today in the lectionary where Jesus sits with the disciples in the boat, in the storm, while they are all screeching in fear and doubting him. He calms the storm in one breath of words and calm and authority. And he turns to the men in the boat and says, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith.” I wrote to my SEEK{ers} today, in my weekly newsletter that this Gospel message reminds me of how we all (me included and often especially included) doubt God when he doesn’t intercede when we want Him to, only to find ourselves sheepish and guilty when he carries us through the storms when we need it.

We are such stubborn fragile creatures–and me most of all.

So, dealing with that and trying to launch this program for the fall–this next generation of helping the spiritually seeking young adults (20′s&30s). I am hopeful and the music team is half together, the service model I made mostly approved by all, and about half the guest speakers for the year confirmed. From a feminist nun professor with brilliant theological acuity to a wonderful Episcopal priest who I met and adore (she is working in the same age segment of ministry as me and we had a wonderful meeting that turned to 2+ hours of great discussion) and only partly because she is as much of a Richard Rohr nerd as I am (it is so rare to find theology nerds with a penchant for Franciscan Friars) to a Rabbi who does Shabbat locally at another Episcopal church once a month. So, wish me luck and send me prayers as the process moves forward!

Guinness, our oldest pup, had a bout of near death and two surgeries since I got home–he was wasted  down to 25+ pounds underweight and finally they extracted a toy and two mango pits from his belly which had ripped his gastrointestinal tract open. It was messy and depressing and he almost didn’t make it but luckily he made it through–he’s a tough one–and although we lost our front porch refurbish money to the medical costs it was worth it to see him happy and well-fed again. Now he is monitored and we do a mango “recon” of the property before we let him out–a sort of search and destroy type mission.

I feel blessed to be surrounded by an army of strong spiritual women in all manner of my life in a way like no other period in my life. Their wisdom reminds me, when I need it, of the presence God can have in a person and they keep me afloat on the journey. If my life raft were a a painting it would be a rickety wood boat, creaky, with a lot of holes but full of –a Sisters of the Cenacle nun or two, an interfaith spiritual director from Brooklyn, some wise Catholic women in their second half of life, an Episcopal priest or two, and a few mystics who visit me through their words even though their bodies are long past gone.

Like Sister Peg said when I met with her a couple of weeks ago, when she was discussing her response to people saying she was part of an archaic system that didn’t respect her (in response to the recent light on American Women Religious) and she said, “How could we (meaning me as well) give up this lineage of so many strong women whose shoulders we stand on. How amazing is that?” Her wisdom was not only that she could see through the temporary nature of politics and egos fighting for something that was never theirs to disseminate, but that she could put us together, sisters side by side, without blinking–Catholic nun and crooked mystic.

And so whatever happens with me, whatever labels or education or path I take, in my best moments I remember no matter what happens: how could I ever give this up, to stand on the shoulders of such women like Sister Peg.

And I think of what my lady priest at my church said–the sacramental is just the saying out loud of something that has already happened [in/with God]. The rest of all this is semantics.

The sacred, the sacramental, the glorious, and the Godly happens regardless of us or of us even noticing it. We can only name it and stand back and look at the beauty of it all. And then laugh at ourselves that we ever doubted, inside of the storm, whether God was even there.

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