We Are All Interconnected

What a person desires in life / is a properly boiled egg. / This isn’t as easy as it seems.
There must be gas and a stove, / the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills,
banks that dispense the lozenge of capital. / There must be a pot, the product of mines
and furnaces and factories, / of dim early mornings and night-owl shifts,
of women in kerchiefs and men with / sweat-soaked hair.
Then water, the stuff of clouds and skies / and God knows what causes it to happen.
There seems always too much or too little / of it and more pipelines, meters, pumping
stations, towers, tanks. / And salt - a miracle of the first order,
the ace in any argument for God. / Only God could have imagined from
nothingness the pang of salt. / Political peace too. It should be quiet
when one eats an egg. No political hoodlums / knocking down doors, no lieutenants who are
ticked off at their scheming girlfriends and / take it out on you, no dictators
posing as tribunes. / It should be quiet, so quiet you can hear
the chicken, a creature usually mocked as a type / of fool, a cluck chained to the chore of her body.
Listen, she is there, pecking at a bit of grain / that came from nowhere.
    —“A Quiet Life” by Baron Wormser

Does it need to be said again? That we are all interconnected. Perhaps, we can’t say it enough. I can’t get there without her. She can’t get there without you. You can’t get there without him. We are all in this together. We need one another. Don’t antagonize or demonize or weaponize. You need her. So, swallow that insult that is swirling in your mouth. Don’t let it slip out! Swallow it, or better yet, drown it with an entire glass of water. You need more water these days anyway. Offer a kind word instead. Even – especially – when it is not deserved. That is grace. Remember grace?! Move through these days embodying grace – undeserved, unmerited, unnecessary gifts offered extravagantly to all those you see, speak to, interact with. Be the late summer shower. The early morning dew. The soft, damp, cool breeze off the ocean blowing the smoke away. Clearing away the clutter . . . so we can see more clearly. So that we see and know without a doubt – once again – that my well-being is dependent upon your well-being. And yours is dependent upon mine. Even though we are so different. And I disagree with you about so much. Move your shoulders down away from your ears and sit down. I moved all my piles of papers and unfinished projects off the table. So I can see you and listen to your heart.  

See you in (zoom) church,  

Tools On Hand

Leaf blowers are an instrument of the devil. / They snarl from across the street
while you were trying to sleep / and pollute the air with dust and gas
and pointlessly blow leaves around / for the next gusto bring right back
where they started. Good people / use a rake or a broom, as God intended.
I knew this, clear as day, until / the dads showed up at the protest,
joined the wall of moms with fists upraised, / singing hands up, don’t shoot
in tones that could comfort a baby. / The dads brought hockey sticks
to bat away the canisters of tear gas. / And leaf blowers to disperse the gas
back whence it came
I don’t trust anyone / who tells me what God intends.
Nonetheless, I will tell you this: / God means for us to use
the tools we have on hand / to protect what is threatened and growing.

         —“Leaf Blowers” by Lynn Ungar

Many times lately, I have struggled with all the things that are clearly far out of my control. I like to plan. I like to have a sense of where and how things are moving. I like to visit Clivie’s classroom before the first day of school. But this is not where we are, moving into August 2020. And yet, still, there are grace and justice-filled opportunities budding out all around us. I may not be in control (as if I ever was!), but we still have tools on hand that God means for us to use to make a positive difference in this world. What are some of those tools you have on hand? Leaf blowers (who would have thought?), masks, our free little pantry, vegetable seeds, flowers, a hand written letter, homemade bread, a protest sign, a phone call. . . .  Yes, there is much that we do not know or have control over. But God is still leading and guiding and giving us courage. So, let’s pick up our tools and go to work.

See you in (zoom) church, 

Room Enough For All

To change the world enough / you must cease to be afraid / of the poor.
We experience your fear as the least pardonable of / humiliations; in the past
it has sent us scurrying off / daunted and ashamed / into the shadows.
Now, / the world ending / the only one all of us have known
we seek the same / fresh light / you do: / the same high place / and ample table.
The poor always believe / there is room enough / for all of us;
the very rich never seem to have heard / of this.
In us there is wisdom of how to share / loaves and fishes / however few;
we do this everyday. / Learn from us, / we ask you.
We enter now / the dreaded location / of Earth's reckoning;
no longer far / off / or hidden in books / that claim to disclose / revelations;
it is here. / We must walk together without fear. / There is no path without us
—“To Change the World Enough” by Alice Walker

Our faith boldly professes that there is, indeed, room enough for all of us. There is, indeed, enough blessing to go around. Our God is not a God of scarcity; our God desires that we all experience the abundant wonders and beauties of creation. And no one is disposable. As we confront the complexities of COVID-19 and the devastations of racism, we must acknowledge that we need one another. Our only path forward is with one another. We are interdependent, interconnected, interrelated. And for this reason, we continue to monitor the safety of resuming in-person worship. As of now, all best practices recommend waiting. We will not meet in person for worship at least through August 31. And we will reassess as we get closer to the fall. Yet, even as we continue to meet over Zoom and in other alternative ways, we continue to be the church. We’ve never stopped being the church! We continue to fight for justice. We continue to offer hope and hospitality. We continue to show up for one another. This is who we are and who we continue to be. No matter what.

See you in (zoom) church,