Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Brood under her Wings

The most human response to troubling times is the desire to gather, to hide, to protect the children, and to withdraw from the conflict. I serve in a church that is so conflicted that it has recently withdrawn from the mercy, inclusion and justice we are called to, in favor of safety and control. It is a normal human response, but today, it's not enough for me. Maybe, because, today I realize I have nothing to lose if I err on the side of justice and inclusion. I am a bishop who is not allowed at Lambeth because I don't have a full time job, even though I am assisting in North Dakota. It's a funny thing to be called by God and the people only to have the institution decide that I am outside the circle.

Jesus challenged the temple rules and warned people of setting limits because of fearful human reactions. Their world was changing and in conflict so they withdrew, tightened their circles and making demons of those who were outside. The problem is, we can all put God outside if we are not careful. When our hearts break open in love, it is then that God is present with us. So, today, I share a poem I wrote some time ago at a House of Bishop's meeting. May it remind me to reach out in love, gather up in love, and never respond with fear, self-protection or exclusion.

The life given for the world
moving out, pouring forth
doesn't function with judgement
it beats with need beyond itself.

Broken for the sake of others
not hidden away but visible
light pouring through
transparent scars
gaping holes of welcome.

Relationships of tears and hope
of mending and wandering lost
living in time suspended
before possibility.

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