I Grieve for my church with Joy,
We strive to make life safer, easier, better. In our drive to avoid pain & suffering we often miss something don’t we? Our drive can lead to great science, invention inspiration and industry. Our pain can lead us to revenge/retribution, violence, destruction & war. Like our brothers & sisters in the creature world we are hard wired for flight or fight. Healthy fear warns us of danger, enables us to protect ourselves gives us time to flee. Healthy anger makes us strong, gives us courage and fortitude. Anger & Fear gone wrong is everything that destroys ourselves, each other, and the environment we live.
So today I grieve. I sit with a pain that is not my own, and that is. I weep tears of sadness, loss and longing. I see but through the fog, how free will, the ability to choose has lead to our very destruction. Who is the I - the us? Today I grieve for our church’s in whatever form they take – but in particular institutionalized bodies that call themselves Christian. We forget the stories. We forget the history. We loose sight of the truth – the whole truth – not our particular version of the truth. We react to our fear & anger that turns ugly on our person, on each other on the world. We take a little bit of knowledge, immature emotions and turn it into fact, morality, law and to prove our points we beat the crap out of each other with judgment, rejection and condemnation. An example is how we take the writings we call Holy or Sacred, and we pull out of context a character, idea, behavior and we use it to prove “our” own points, projecting our fear & anger outward judging ourselves & each other, condemning.
In the beginning was “I AM.” Not man, not creature, not element, not male or female, not religion, not nation. Can I prove it? No I can’t. Can it be proven otherwise? No it can’t be. Even science, what we claim as empirical evidence is based on certain assumptions & principles, all of which in and of themselves cannot be “proven.” Do I need to prove it – sometimes it feels like it – but every time I try to defend my religion – if I am being rigorously honest with myself – I am responding in fear creating barriers, putting up walls between me and the other – all out of fear losing something I value. The story continues – out of nothing everything was created, out of the primordial ooze life breaths and I AM said it is good.
Then enters choice & will. What is becomes what could be. Enter temptation and knowledge. Innocence is lost. Curse & Blessing come to play and we begin to count. Who’s in, who’s out? What is mine, what is yours? We measure, compare, judge and condemn. Death comes in many forms. And a pattern emerges and repeats. We rise, corrupt, destroy, fall and rise. Take the stories, Noah called to pilot a rescue boat to save a handful along with the creatures. Abraham promised a legacy which becomes tainted not in the who’s of who’s – but in his will to create that which was already promised. Moses, taken out of slavery to free slaves only to be denied the promised land due to his will. David, called from shepherd boy to King to coveting a woman not his own. A nation a people lifted out of slavery to rule, only to fall again and again and finally to be scattered.
And the pattern repeats, the Rise & Fall of Rome. Nations are formed, rise and fall. Continents divided. State lines mapped. Lines are drawn, we -they, us – them, mine - yours. Jews - gentiles, christians - pagans, muslims - infedels, evangelicals – mainline, fundamentalist - progressive. Walls are built for comfort, peace of mind, safely. They divide and speak to who’s in and who’s out, who belongs who does not. And we count, we tally the sins, the costs, the blessings the curses – we count, worry, fear, project, judge and build adding brick upon brick to the walls of division. Temples and glorious houses of worship are built, torn down and built again.
The more is see the more I long to be blind again. I am overwhelmed by the enormity of the connections that have lead to our fall. I feel the burden of responsibility for my part in the unfolding drama. I weep for the illness within that causes us to hurt ourselves, each other and creation. I weep for the pain we cause each other by our inability to accept & embrace ourselves and each other as we are – as we were created – as I AM made it – “it is Good.” I weep for the needless divisions we create out of our fear & anger. I weep for the loss of the innocent. I weep for the counting we do as we add to the cost or think we can save our buildings & social clubs by getting asses in pew with money for our dwindling treasuries. I weep for those who are left in the cold, alone and abandoned by our failure to give freely the love we have been freely given. I weep for the price WE have attached to the unconditional love & acceptance of I AM. I weep for the destruction we cause to body, land, creature, earth and now even as we reach beyond to the stars. We leave in our wake destruction, want and waist. I watch and I wait and I weep.