This week I’ve witnessed beautiful transformation. A woman who was literally beaten down to nothing, she’d barely raise her head when someone spoke to her. She rarely spoke back unless asked a direct question. She now laughs and smiles, starts a conversation. She looks like a different person. It was so beautiful I cried after our hearing.
I cried after another hearing this week as well. It was anything but beautiful. It was hell. A mother who loves her children passionately but cannot understand the system, cannot understand how the people around her are desperately trying to help her. There seems to be a severe processing disorder, combined with mental illness, and possible drug use. It’s an unholy trio making her life hell. Thus far, we can’t reach her.
A woman who gives her life to helping others is going home to hospice care. She’s a thousand miles away. I can’t hold her hand. I’ve been too afraid to call and hear her voice or to have her hear mine while it breaks.
I gave up last week. My heart was breaking. My house was a mess. I called off the Advent Church or “Weird Shit Group” as my friend, Lois calls it. I knew I should go ahead but I didn’t. As Sunday looms and my house is in worse shape than last week and my heart has been wrung out more than imagined it could be in a week, I’m committed to hosting our Advent Church or Weird Shit Group. It’s worse not to have it. I need it. I learned a lesson this past week. I can’t give up just because it seems hard or that I don’t know what I’m doing.
We are in the darkness of Advent but the light is coming. The hope of the world calls out to us. She sings sweetly that transformation is possible and joyous and wonderful. And perhaps one day, when we face our death others will mourn that we’ve given our lives to help others, to reflect the light and joy of the Hope of the World. That will be success.
There are days in which I want something more substantial to do than pray. Yes, I believe in the power of prayer but when the hearts around me are breaking I want to fix it. I want to do more than pray. I want to ease the pain. I want to make it better. It doesn’t have to be me to make the fix. I just want it fixed.
A dear one is hundreds of miles away on the way to the hospital. She has been battling cancer for a while now. Her physical pain is immense. Her husband’s heart hurts at least as much as her body does. I want them to have a cure, for this pain to be gone. Perhaps I don’t believe in prayer much more than I beleive in modern medicine. I don’t believe that either will provide a fix. Neither have a magic wand with a cure.
I believe that prayers helps us to be strong, to take courage. I don’t believe it makes a cure.
I want a cure. I want a cure for the heartaches of this world. I want mothers who are ill and in the hospital to get up and leap for joy. I want girls who see pictures of themselves to see how beautiful they are and not a fat face that makes them cry. I want the wars fought with guns, bombs, rape, and terror to cease. I want those who live on the streets to be safe and warm and have a home they love. I want those who struggle for their daily bread to have what they need, to have food that is healthy, yummy, and filling. I want the outcasts to be insiders. I want the kin-dom of God to be present not just for a few but for all. I want there to be peace, real soul filling peace with joy and freedom for everyone. I want it now. I want a cure. I want the pain to cease.
It has begun. There were only 5 of us present tonight but it was a start. I shared my thoughts about church–wanting to live into my Wesleyan heritage by church being a place we gather, share, and then go out to do ministry with those in need. Not for but with. I could easily plan everything out but I want this to be a communal church in which we make decisions together. I’m a bit of a traditionalist. I love ritual.But I want words that make sense, that are full of beauty, that are relevant. I love liturgy. I love all of us speaking truths together. I hope those words sit within us and stir us at unexpected times during the coming week. I am thankful for Thom M. Shuman at Lectionary Liturgies. I used his poetic words and prayers for our first gathering. His writing speaks to my spirit and I love sharing his work with others.
Instead of a sermon we practiced Lectio Divina with the lectionary readings from Isaiah and Romans. Hope, peace, and love. Salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The Kingdom of God is with us in the hear and now. I experienced it tonight.
Then we celebrated communion. We participated and celebrated with all those who came before us and all those who will come after. It was the first time I’ve presided over communion since leaving Missouri. It felt like home.
At first I was disappointed that only 2 people that weren’t family came. But they want to return. They want to bring their family when they come. It’s a start. Our journey has begun.