Wow…you’d think those who put together the Give Us this Day (nb: monthly publication of readings and reflections for the liturgical year) had been having premonitions when they put together the volume for February… Today, the call in Isaiah to ~share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them and do not turn your back on your own…~
(From somewhere in Isaiah 58:7-10)
Do not turn your back on your own…seems pretty clear that for Jesus, who asked Who are my mother and brothers and sisters?, that this category is NOT bound by nation, race, politics, religion, or any other measure, save the doing of the will of God, who is infinite Love. Not infinite security in the here and now, not infinite safety or ease…Infinite Love.
~ If you remove from your midst/oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;/if you bestow your bread on the hungry/and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness and the gloom shall become for you like midday.~ (From somewhere in Isaiah 58:7-10)
If we remove “alternative facts,” baseless pronouncements, off-the-cuff insults, blatant exclusion…then maybe this cloying gloom that has descended, that has swathed, bound and constricted, the political scene not only in the United States but around the world, will give way or at least loosen; maybe then we could see more clearly and be about that Love, about justice, be about openness, welcome, a bigger table with more chairs and not a higher wall.
And from the accompanying reflection by Bl. Oscar Romero… ~each of you who believe must become a microphone, a radio station, a loudspeaker, not to talk, but to call for faith.~
In the midst of all that is real right now…travel bans, mosque attacks, marches, phone calls, letter campaigns, suffering, action, fear, confusion, righteous certainty, and finding out exactly how narrow is the brink on which we stand, I’m also thinking about squirrels.
Squirrels that store up nuts, squirrels who pack their cheeks with reserves and go looking for more, squirrels who have caches of what they need to be nourished through the winter.
Huh…in so Many ways, it feels like winter.
I am aware that to make it through This winter, to have something to offer to those with whom I live and move, have being, have purpose, have whatever portion of hope that can be mustered, I too need caches.
Of late, I have been aware of storing up beauty….beauty of all sorts. Sunrise at the harbor; the conversation with a stranger on the street about her hat; people marching in peace; people encircling mosques here in Halifax as well as in Quebec and Montreal so that prayers could go on in peace inside; the kissy, jowly, reunion joy of the dog in the back of the SUV ahead of me, parked at the curb at the airport; the exquisite beauty and perfection of metaphor in the writings of a newly discovered author; The friend who wrote so honestly and simply, “I often find myself in love, particularly when people are living with passion and authenticity…”; The smell of sautéing onions, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and tomato paste that forms the base for red lentil lemon soup; the clean line of a fine point pen on a fresh sheet of paper; the swell of full bodied Gospel music and opera arias and dancing to old-school Rock in the kitchen.
There are many moments…and I find myself writing them down, underlining them, telling people about them, finding ways to let them live beyond a moment, let them sustain my soul, let them help center-me-down to be grounded on the journey, so that I can be present and do all that I can for others walking with me, for those who can’t make the journey, for those who are to come, who are to inherit, whatever it is that we help to create.
I am scared of what might be a part of the Winter yet to come, there is no denying that.
At the same time, with each footfall forward, I pray that the new day’s creation be infused with Light.