“Neither I nor the poets I love have found the keys to the kingdom of prayer and we cannot force God to stumble over us where we sit. But I know that it’s a good idea to sit anyway. So every morning, I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to. There, I greet God and my own disorder. I say hello to chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble. I say hello to distraction and privilege, I greet the day…” –Padraig O Tuama, poet, theologian, and leader of the Corrymeela community of Northern Ireland.
In Tea-Time with the Minister on Wednesday (join me for the next one Wednesday June 14th at 3pm!), we reflected on this reading and we ended talking about communication. How do we hear wisdom, truth, or what some may call God? How do you know if what you think is right is actually so? The truth is, most of the time, you can’t “know.” You do the best you can–you listen, breath, and discuss with trusted friends. And maybe make friends and greet all that is unknown, all the “doing the best you cans.”
In reading this excerpt from O Tuama, I am reminded that at the center of any spiritual practice is this idea of making friends with the life that is. A spiritual practice is about greeting our disorder, our chaos, our unmade decisions, and our unmade beds– not getting rid of, ignoring, or repressing what is “unmade” in our life. O Tuama communicates a real sense of friendliness in this reading, a real sense of friendliness to things and feelings that sometimes I know I am not so friendly toward in myself. And when you are struggling to make friends with your unmade bed? Well, that’s what friends are for! Whatever path gets you to experience friendliness, take it, whether it’s meditation, prayer, a phone call, or a coffee-date!
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday: Jazz Sunday– We welcome the New Horizons Jazz Band for a special music Sunday, inviting their music to stir, provoke, and move us in ways that simple words cannot. Worship leaders this week are Rev. Darcy and Matthew Mason.
After worship, join me, Susan P, Susan D, Tracy H, and Adlai F. in a Listening Session for Community Organizing Gathering. In preparation for the community organizing gathering being led by Faith in Stanislaus and Bend the Arc being held at UUFSC next Sunday afternoon, our delegates to the gathering would like to listen to how you would respond to these questions: Are there issues your community would like to advance if you had the support and backing of a coalition of other faith-based communities? What is the one issue your community would most like support with? Join us in the Education Building!