This body of mine is marked by the ways of this world and I’m not always safe. Sometimes, I feel less than wonderfully made. Sometimes, people do things that deny me my humanity. It feels like someone is choking me… I know my body is good, but right now it is heavy and feels like a liability. Could you fill me instead? Could you remind me of whose I am?…my dignity feels at stake - and I know I’m not the only one…
Could you make us light oh Holy One, just for a moment?
Christianity is so compelling to me because our faith rests on this ultimate redemption narrative. No matter who we are, where we were born, what terrible things we think in our heads, we have been promised God’s love. We have been promised this security. We are redeemed. Christian life is not a tryout, like Regional ID camp. There’s no list to check each morning to see if your name is on it or not. It’s more like walking onto a team in a sport that you know nothing about and trusting the one in charge to help you find your place. It’s building community, accompanying and companioning others, standing behind champions, and letting others stand behind you when you are the champion. It’s being honest about your talents, what you’ve earned, and what you have not earned, and making room for others to speak the truth about what they’ve been denied. It’s building a world that is honest to all and dismantling the structures that deny anyone their humanity.
I had the great privilege of preaching my first (ever) sermon at Smithfield United Church of Christ last Sunday. The sermon was based on Luke 10: 25-37, which combines the Great Commandment and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. You can watch the sermon below and I’ll include the full text as well (which I didn’t follow word for word, but it’s close).
It’s pride month, and some religious leaders have decided that it is also sin month. They’ve warned us from attending pride events and especially from taking our children to these immoral events. One Catholic leader in particular made this statement yesterday, subjecting himself to a slew of uncharitable denouncements that the Catholic church is hardly in a position to decide what is right or wrong for our children…
Pride is a celebration, born out of protest and injustice. It’s a corner we’ve turned as a community and it is one we commemorate yearly for good reason. It is visibility and community and even accountability. For Christians, pride events are not the sin here.
Pride though, the kind of pride that we all experience when we demonstrate extreme arrogance, that feels sinful to me.
One of the questions I’ve been asked lately, besides “what is spiritual direction?” is “why are you doing this work?” I hope to answer that question a bit in the video below. In it, I talk about how my journey with brain injury has helped me cultivate and turn towards a call to ministry, specifically spiritual direction. When you’ve experienced deafening physical pain, knowing how to turn it into silence and stillness is a major grace. In that silence and stillness, I’ve found “power made perfect in weakness,” a profound awareness that grace is sufficient and that I am enough. I want nothing more than to accompany others on their journeys, and this formation program in spiritual direction will help me to do that - which is why I need your help.