Monday, April 24, 2017
It was a well-organized event, with the usual mix of workshops and plenary sessions, keynote presentations and even a bit of music. But what makes these gatherings relatively unique is the silence, for several times over the course of the gathering we were called into intentional times of silence, intentional times of making space for the Holy.
One of the workshop leaders distributed copies of a poem by May Sarton titled "Beyond Questions." It is a lovely extended metaphor, drawing a comparison between a nesting bird and the practice of silence (or at least that's how I read it!) Despite it's title, one stanza asks a powerful question:
Can I weave a nest for silence
Weave it of listening
Listening layer upon layer?
I bring many things home from my Canadian sojourn, many leanings, but perhaps the most important thing I carried back across the border is a reminder of the role silence can and does play in my work as a pastor, in my work as as a spiritual director, and beyond that, in my very life.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Now make no mistake, I don't have some sort of a messiah complex. I realize it was my blood, not the blood of Christ that I left behind at the blood bank. But still, in a strange sort of way, it was Christ's blood--after all, the church is called the body of Christ.
Bear with me, here, and let me play this out a bit. What better way for us to mark the holiest days of the year than by giving of ourselves in such a potentially life-saving fashion? That pint of A positive blood, may go to someone who is undergoing surgery, or chronically in need of transfusions, or something else altogether. But whatever, it may indeed help save a life.
I'm not trying to be the hero of my own story here. All I did was spend twenty minutes or so giving some blood. I even go a free t-shirt out of it. (Bright red, by the way. It has a watermark of the flag, and it says, "All American Donor." I guess that's what's meant by being a red-blooded American.)
But seriously--this is something I can do every Good Friday if I'm medically able to do so. And it is something you can do as well.
Don't know where to go? Just click on www.redcrossblood.org and find a donation center near you!
In the name of Christ. In service to unknown strangers. How much more holy does it get than that!