Holy Ground

burningbush-smIt’s been an interesting few days since I last posted here. Nothing to write home about as they say, but, well, interesting remains a good word.

It was odd on Sunday, yet breathtakingly freeing too. No screeching, nails-on-a-blackboard rendition of the Gloria to endure. If you were unaware, it fell victim to the “changes” initiated by the Vatican’s desire to change a few words here and there in the mass, throwing everyone into disarray and confusion. The Gloria, one of the most beautiful songs, has been torn asunder and reworded into phrases that no longer soar, but stumble around in the mouth, and search in vain for a key to lay them across.

And let us not forget the “Creed” now properly “authentic” with its reference to consubstantiality. Yes, those of us who had long said the Creed from memory are now back to flipping pages so that we don’t “screw up”. Nothing of course done with that “for us men, and our salvation” crap. Couldn’t drop the men in that phrase could ya?

I surely did not miss the homily. Our priest was on vacation for the month of July and so we had visiting priests. One gave a dynamite homily, the rest were pretty so-so. No loss there.

I’ve returned to more meditation.

I can’t get the picture from my head of Moses standing in the sand, hearing the voice. “Take off your sandals! You are standing on holy ground.”

I feel like whispering a lot.

I feel like I’m standing on holy ground.

The point is of course, that we are all standing on holy ground all the time. Yet mostly we don’t realize that. I’m just realizing it a lot at the moment. That is a very good thing.

I’m curious about where I am going, but not enough to sit and think about it much. I rather think it will all work out.

I have some desires in that regard.

The more I look around the religious world of my town, the less enthusiastic I become. I have little urge to “get involved”. They all want you to do that you know. They are always introducing themselves and inviting you to coffee after services, and gee, would you like to be a reader? It’s hard to be anonymous. And I had rather grown to like being anonymous. After all, I’m there to visit with the Lord, not to make friends.

Which is not to say that community doesn’t have its place. It does. But I rather think it more belongs in the food pantry and at the Habitat for Humanity work site than it does in the comfort of the Church hall over coffee and donuts. Just my thinking at the moment.

I so enjoy sharing information though, and it would be nice to find a community to discuss ideas. Let’s gather and unpack the liturgy! Let’s read this book and search out its insights. That I miss, or maybe it’s my often wrong but still arrogant belief that others have something to learn from me.

Arrogance and self-importance tend to attend with me at formal “church”. I want to “be” of note. It’s one of the reasons that I came to see my involvement at my previous Episcopal church wrong for me. I flourished in a world that thought like I did, and that caused me to “get involved” in all too many things. My ego supplanted Jesus.

The more we learn about Christ, the more we learn about the bible, the more I guess we are prone to that. I KNOW WHAT HE MEANT! I’ll explain it.

Well, that’s what a blog is all about isn’t it? I will explain it. I know what He meant.

Well, I don’t know what He means for me right now!

I fumble in my humility. But I really like it too.

I’m just a small creature. I’m that ant I look down upon in the desert, scurrying along, seemingly, to me at least, going in no particular direction or for no purpose. I expand his field to encompass even a block and I wonder could that little ant even contemplate how large his world is, even if only expanded to a block in size?

That’s me.

I’m just freaked out by how big God is, and how little I am, and how presumptuous I can be, and how He loves me anyway, and probably shakes his head with a wry smile on his “lips”.

I’m playing “church” for one. Just me and God. And God is setting out my altar every morning in shades of pink and red and spurts of white light coming over the mountains, and I plod along on this Holy earth, avoiding the mud holes left by last nights rain. Diego gallops along following his nose.

He’s the smarter of us two. He just does dog easily and without any thinking. I don’t do human nearly as well. But I’m paying attention now. And perhaps that’s all I’m supposed to do right now.

 

 

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aliceny
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 09:42:22

    Sherry, my suffering, wondering sister in Christ, your blog is well named. We ALL walk in the shadows, which is exactly where you are now. And it is OK. It is normal. You are in the process of new spiritual growth. Be patient. The Spirit that has brought you this far will continue the work that He began in you (I think Paul said that somewhere).
    I have been, and continue to be, in exactly the place where you are right now. But I am strangely at peace because He knows that I am still searching, still wanting to be more, have more, know more in Him.
    I would love to talk with you. I put myself at risk by giving you my number but here it is 518-432-4845. Please call me.

    Reply

  2. luke
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 03:33:07

    I agree with your imagined.Thank you for your own sharing.

    Reply

  3. Tim
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 06:01:38

    Sherry, so often I marvel at how our respective journeys parallel. I’m coming back from a glorious vacation–surely the best of my life (so far)–where I was surrounded by religious masterpieces of art and architecture (symbols everywhere) and overwhelmed by the beauty of creation. Yet the trip subsumed the time I normally have for contemplation and prayer and I’m feeling a little out of it these days.

    Then there’s the start of seminary, just around the corner, and an unexpected onslaught of concern about my motives and my lack of clarity about what may come of it. Feelings of intimidation all of a sudden, and I’m not one who’s easily intimidated. I too feel too small for what’s before me. What if I get there and it’s not what I imagine it will be? What if it’s more than I can manage? What if I become so wrapped up in the intellectual side of it that my intuitive faith gets bruised beyond repair?

    This business of entering and finding one’s way in new communities can be deflating and perplexing. These are what my mother sometimes calls “valley days,” when going forward is very hard because you don’t know what’s on the other side of mountains looming overhead. But I’ll pass along to you the one thought that I continue to reach for during my own valley days; the Psalm 23 promise that in our valleys, the Shepherd restores our souls.

    There are times, I think, when we just have to settle our thoughts–even though the doubts and frustrations behind them won’t settle–and let restoration happen. There will always be another mountain to scale. And there are many many more magnificent discoveries on the other side of each one. Strength for now is what we need. And when we cross out of our valleys, we’ll be prepared for what God places before us.

    Let restoration happen. There are extraordinary things ahead for you!

    Much love,
    Tim

    Reply

    • Sherry
      Aug 22, 2013 @ 11:40:38

      One thing I am sure of beyond all others–you will be so successful in your seminary pursuits! You will be overwhelmed I suspect by the intellectual side, and it will take tome for the soulfulness of the experience to catch up. It will be something like a jigsaw puzzle, fitting all the new pieces in but the picture upon completion will be utterly satisfying and will raise you up many levels. Talk about taking the express elevator. Melding it all into a personal theology takes the time. You are so far ahead of most of your fellow classmates that I’m sure you will be gobbling up all the information arrayed before you. No doubt you will face the coldness that pure facts can be, and how does this all make for a good-acting Christian person, but as I said, it will mold into your faith and ultimately add to it immensely. At least as I pursued a smaller version of what you are looking to, I found that all to be so. So much was jarring and new, and seemed to destroy old assumptions, but when time allowed for quiet reflection, over the months and then years, my “cloth” of faith is ever so much more strong and comprehensive and joyful. I know it will be that way for you as well. Blessings a many dear friend. !END

      Reply

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