Monday, December 8, 2008

Gratitude 4

Gratitude goes to what I was told when I said I wasn't...

"ready to state beliefs."

The conversation was between me and the man who guided me back into a life of faith when I was in my mid 30's. The conversation was about becoming a member of the church he ministered. I said ... "I won't lie and say I believe in this or that..."

He said, "All you have to say is that you will join us by taking a journey." Sometimes I think it would have been easier to lie and skip the journey. Not as fulfilling, just easier.

A week ago I met some folk who think I am the leader of our adult group at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church here in Lansdale. I throw something out then sit back and listen. They are on a journey too.

So with 15 minutes to go I threw out, "Lets talk about death, fear, resurrection..." Then sat back.

As I was reading Joe Paprocki's A well Built Faith to prepare, I was taken by how my heart seemed ready to try to fill it with the belief that death was conquered by the cross. It seemed so much a core of what it means to be a Christian, yet here I was filled with a desire to finally believe in my mid 40's. So I offered it up to God with much joy.

Also what lingers from that Monday night is a pain in my heart. The dagger was not meant to hit me, but the comment struck hard. The comment may or may not be true about our life after death. The sadness it created was true. I will offer that up to God too.

The journey continues. Creation unfolds and we step into it.


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10 comments:

  1. You have left me wondering what the comment was that struck you like a "dagger in the heart." I am reading The Spirituality of Imperfection right now and was struck today by this phrase:

    "When a man comes to you and tells you your own story, you know you are forgiven."

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  2. I love your statement about "folk who think I am the leader . . ."

    Besides being very funny, that degree of humility must mean that you are.

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  3. Beryl-- started writing you an e-mail, but stalled out... will try again, but tis time to sleep

    Gannet Girl--- we'll see if the few of those whom I "lead"... who also read this blog, will add a comment.

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  4. It is definitely a journey. There are times when I find myself barely holding on to my faith and others where it seems to permeate everything. Yes, sometimes I also feel that it would be easier to skip the journey.

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  5. Yes, certainly begs the question of what the comment was....for those who missed the group last week....serves me right , I guess.... I was accepted as being on that journey, probably by the same guy, and though I've been on the journey for about as long as you, still feel as though I've gone oh so few steps....a few forward, then a few back again....kicking and screaming....

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  6. hmmm. "leader," eh? well, in a manner of speaking but perhaps "facilitator" might be a more accurate term. interestingly enough, i found myself deferring to david and looking for him to fill in the blanks that we, as a group, would ordinarily fill. strange.

    "dagger in the heart": i won't even try to speculate on what comment had that impact b/c it's likely something which only your life story could have responded to in that way. as we're each on our own journey (altho' we're sometimes fortunate to walk together for a while!), what resonates or discomforts each of us is different.

    but i know from experience that sometimes, those sorts of remarks are the ones which lead to an amazing moment of self-discovery. they hurt like all get out but if one can examine the wound, explore its edges and depth, one often comes away with a better understanding.

    (of what? not so sure.)

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  7. Kathryn J--- permeate is a cool word

    Giggles--- comment was as CS stated something that would strike those who have traveled in a certain direction. Most would nod in agreement with the comment, as I do, which makes it all the sadder.

    CS--- I am a better facilitator than leader, don't have the bread crumbs to lead people into dark forests. We may get lost for ever and ever. David's presence is valuable, however we do not have to defer our path to his... he is a fine tour guide for our journey.

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  8. As one of those who is very thankful for your leading questions and thoughtful comments, I read your post a few times, pondering what the comment was. Selfishly, I was worried what I might have done - until I realized its not about me. Thanks you for facilitating that revelation.

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  9. Msklem--- the comment was not mean spirited in any shape or form. Thanks for your kind words. Hope to show up on Saturday with some of M's Nanaimo Bars.

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  10. the beer will be cold and the red wine flowing.

    Not worried about mean spirited per se - it made me think about how often we say things that we think are "innocent" and others are touched in ways that we can't imagine. I think of our mutual friend who lost her mother - I wonder how many times I spoke of my mom that unintentially caused her pain.

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