Sitting in front of fans and air conditioning units, our bloggers are digging deep within for wisdom. While many of us want to flop on the couch with beach books, or are now finding ourselves in mid-winter, depending on where we live, our bloggers are mining the depths for unexpected gems of wisdom.
The body has its own wisdom, as evidenced by a snake looking for a cool spot, who visited Janine DeBaise. She took the picture above, from her blog writing as jo(e.)
A turn toward renewal is prompting Sally C., who writes:
“There are times when we need to turn, and re-turn,
to acknowledge how we are and who we are,
flawed and fragile, whole and (w)holy loved,
that we break and are bruised, and we break and bruise
this world, and others in our blinkered selfishness…
again, and again…”
Michelle Francl-Donnay is also thinking about where our spiritual strength comes from, as she laments the illness of a dear friend and contends with her own fatigue. On a trip far from home, “I was desperate for a nap, un riposo, but more desperate to pray. I went up to the small chapel with the tabernacle by mosaicist Marko Rupnik SJ to pray in the hour my colleague was being taken off life support 4400 miles and six time zones away. A Jesuit chapel seemed the right spot to sit prayerfully present to the dying… Somewhere in the midst of this, I noticed an electrical outlet at the very bottom of the nearly floor to ceiling tabernacle. Not in the wall next to it, but in the base of the tabernacle itself. What on earth was an outlet doing in this work of art?” Could she plug herself into God so easily, she wondered?
If we think we can open the Bible and find an easy answer, Rachael Keefe is reminding us otherwise. And yet, we are starving for wisdom. “There is a famine in the land. It is not a famine of bread or meat. It is, however, a famine of hearing the words of God. God’s ways always tell us to love our neighbors as ourselves. God ’s ways never value one people over another and would not sanction concentration camps in any era, let alone now. God’s ways do not sanction the oppression of anyone or hold of white nationalism as a form of Christianity. God has demonstrated God’s love for Creation again and again. The prophets (old and new) tell us that loving God means loving others with same degree of compassion, grace, forgiveness, and love that God has for us.”
We have tried to take easy paths with each other, Jenni Ho-Huan reminds us, and her mother-hen wisdom warns “Here’re some scenarios that get my soul flapping: another leader doing what other leaders are doing (especially traveling overseas) and it smacks of “look, I am successful” [and] when we take our western diets and without taking time to learn, love and live with a different culture, tell them this is the Christian life, spiritual progress…[and] turning to triumphalistic story-telling as our main way of gospel sharing which leaves many struggling in the dust.”
Listen to yourself, Alicia Crosby reminds us.
“Know there is wisdom in your vigilance
Those who abide with you are speaking,
sharing from ancestral wells of sacred memory.”
Where are your thoughts taking you these days? We would love to hear, and to continue the conversation, in the comments section below.
Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse Presbyterian Church. She is the author of Meeting God at the Mall.
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