Reading about yet another mass shooting, the line “forget sacrifice” from UU minister Rev. Lynn Ungar‘s poem “Lent” particularly stuck out to me, as many of our Catholic brothers and sisters began their Lenten season of reflection and penance.
What will you give up for this season,
to help life along in its curious reversals?
As if we had a choice.
As if the world were not
constantly shedding us
like feathers off a duck’s back–
the ground is always
littered with our longings.
You can’t help but wonder
about all the heroes,
the lives and limbs sacrificed
in their compulsion toward the good.
All those who dropped themselves
upon the earth’s hard surface–
weren’t they caught in pure astonishment
in the breath before they shattered?
Forget sacrifice. Nothing
is tied so firmly that the wind
won’t tear it from us at last.
The question is how to remain faithful
to all the impossible,
The truth is, we don’t get a choice about sacrifice. And too many of us are asked to make too many sacrifices. Don’t get me wrong– I find that the practice of giving something up to be an incredibly instructive spiritual practice. But Rev. Ungar’s poem for me is such superb Unitarian Universalist theology– the Divine/Ultimate/God/Ground-of-Being would never want creation to suffer, to sacrifice. That suffering and sacrifice happens is part of our human reality– but to believe that which some may call “the Ultimate” would require it of us? Well, that just sounds abusive. “Giving up” is something we have to do all the time in this human life– as the parents and families of those slaughtered in Florida are being forced to do. As Ungar so beautifully puts it “The question is how to remain faithful to all the impossible, necessary resurrections” that we must go through in the course of our living.
I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday: Curiosity Did Not Kill The Cat
In fact, maybe curiosity resurrected the cat! “Resilience is more available to people curious about their own line of thinking and behaving” says shame researcher Dr. Brene Brown. Worship leaders: Rev. Darcy and Brian Wise. Musicians: Sue Cotter, April Gutierrez, and Karen O’Dell.