Spiritually Speaking: The Messiness of Life

Spiritually Speaking: The Messiness of Life

Spiritually Speaking: The Messiness of Life

In the last few months I have been more aware of the difficulty of living in this world than anytime previously.

It is not just the violence that is wrought daily, but it is also the new life emerging.  It is not just the pain of those in our human family, but it is also the breathtaking beauty of those reaching out and stretching within themselves to uncover new compassion.

In June, I attended General Assembly, which is an annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists that is often held in the third week of June.  This year, we met in Columbus Ohio.  I listened to a colleague bravely share about clergy misconduct.  Then, that night I nestled in for the first time in years to a perfectly quiet hotel room.  The next day, I heard of the struggles and truth of ableism and those attending General Assembly who found it terribly exclusive for those with disabilities.  Then, that night I had dinner with good friends and we wandered through a community festival complete with music, dancing and fanciful fried foods.  Just yesterday, I heard the news of the bombing in Istanbul while I watched a butterfly land in my garden.

Life is not just broken and violent, it is also endlessly endearing in beauty and mercy.

Sometimes, I think it is just enough to live in this world and love it.  As the temperatures rise in July, and the news seems endlessly heartbreaking from the corners of the world, I am seeking to live into it- to note all of it and stay in it, not choosing to live in part of life.  Truth, I find, is present in the paradox and perhaps there is peace there too, past the discomfort of spiritual whiplash.

Living in this world is no small thing.  I don’t know yet how to do it, but I suppose that is exactly why we gather together in our community.  Nurturing the spirit, cherishing diversity and cultivating justice, it takes a village willing to live together in this world.

I leave you this day with a short poem and love to you wherever you may be at this moment,

Rev. Robin

I don’t know how
to make sense of the stunning white butterfly with slate speckles landing on the azure delphinium
a flash of heaven here in the piedmont
while the truth of 41 dead in Istanbul
239 injured sinks in, me wondering if there are 239 of anything in this small garden,
some beauty against that terror.

I don’t know how
to make sense of Georgia
who purred and danced round my legs as I buried the hen who ruled the coop.

I don’t know how
to make sense of the beautiful and broken
so often delivered together
but that is this day
“and many more yet” my heart whispers.