Which put me in mind this morning of losing children, and my prayers for the parents and guardians and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas of the lost children of Newtown --and how our oldest would have been 30 years old about this week... and I think how strange it is to miss a child that was never born, but I do... which puts me in mind of the women of this Reservation --of the congregations I serve --and I can think of only three women that have NOT lost a child, and how in my off-Reservation life I am an anomaly --I don't know many women who have lost children --and, yet here --nearly every one has....
--and what a different tenor that gives to Good Friday, mothers weeping at the foot of the cross....
--and how not a single gun in any school could have saved any of them --and how grounded in fear and self-protection and then more fear it all is.
And I pray for the spiritual health and well-being of The People --and for this Nation, because I think we have so much all backwards....
--which reminds me of the book by Charles Williams (is it The Greater Trumps? --dangit, I cannot remember the title) in which the devil or the devil's lackey goes around unspeaking things --un-doing the words spoken at creation that brought all things in to being, un-creating creation itself. And does it in such a way that is so very subtle and un-terrifying to witness because one is brought in to a spiritual lull --a frozenness in the presence of the uncreating backwards words.... A horrid thought.
But I cannot help but think that is what is happening to us --that we are caught in a frozenness, a spiritual lull, and are powerless to stop the un-creating that is happening around us. Calling war mongers "peace keepers" for example. Or the warehousing of the elderly "care". Or mandates to purchase insurance "health care reform". None of those things are any of those things.
And I read and re-read Cornel West's reaction to Obama using MLK's bible for the swearing in --and I am glad West is resisting the numbing normalization --glad West is resisting the un-creating of the prophetic voice of MLK by saying "We just loving the tradition that produced Martin Luther King, Jr. and we're not going to allow it to be in any way sanitized, deodorized and sterilized, we want the subversive power to be heard."
Yes. Un-created. Sanitized. Deodorized. Sterilized. We want MLK's voice to be heard. We want God's power to turn over the work of our hands --the drones of war, the violence of racism, the death of children... and we want someone to be speaking those words --those words of subversive power --the power of love, before we are lulled to sleep by the insidiousness of un-creation.
At least, I do. And it is, perhaps, the present sting of the deaths of my children --at the many deaths I know here, that keep me awake from the lullaby of un-creation. It is the holes in my heart that allow the light to shine through.
At prayer this morning (portions of Mark 4:21-34)
Jesus said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”For to those who have, more will be given --and I do not think Jesus is really talking about material wealth here, although there is certainly a subversive way to read it thus.... In light of the Beatitudes, I think Jesus is speaking of those blessings.....
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
And I mustn't balk when I think of the tiny gestures of ministry --all ministry --our shared ministry --our part in the eternal ministry --our share of the eternal priesthood --all of us... and against the uncreating forces, our little resistance, our little bits of fire seem like nothing.
But, that is like hiding our lamps under the bed... or thinking our mustard seed inconsequential. We do what we do to the Glory of God. Without betting on the outcome. Because that is not our business. That would merely be uncreating what God has in mind.
Or something like that.
Off I go.
It's windy and cold. Even so --we're going on an adventure for the day!