Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Bear

Last week, if you remember, I told you I had lost the voices that live in my head that make me have something to add when I stand here before you. I want to announce that they are back. Sneaky little voices figured out that if they couldn’t talk to me while I was awake, they would wait until I was sleeping.

I know Dreams are controversial. Some say they are just your brains way of discharging and resetting itself for the next day. I agree with that. Dreams can be weird, scary, or funny. However, most of the time nonsensical and meaningless. I agree with that also. Nevertheless, sometimes, something connects, something makes you stop and pay attention. It stays with you. It has been over a week since I had this dream and it is still with me, speaking to me. That is how I know that this came from my voices and not just random electrical discharges. I want to share it with you so bear with me, no pun intended…

I dreamt: That I was walking in a valley of tall grass. The grass was silky and my bare feet weren’t bothered by ground below them. I knew I was supposed to be there, to be walking but I didn’t know why. The valley was void of other people. I was completely alone. It didn’t really seem to bother me, it was as if that is what I had always been doing and that was all I knew to do.

In the distance, I saw a bear. I wasn’t afraid of her so I approached her. She rose up on her hind legs to beckon me to come to her. When I got there she enveloped me in her arms. She standing 10 feet tall and me small in comparison. I disappeared in her hug as she wrapped her arms around me. I was suddenly surrounded by warm fur and I could her her heartbeat. I suddenly thought to myself, this is why I had been walking. I finally found whatever it was I was supposed to.

She pulled me away and motioned for me to follow her. She took me to her home. A huge warm cave, with a stream running through the back of the cave. We sat before a warm fire, ate berries and nuts, and drank from the stream until I was full and drowsy.

When night came she once again allowed me to curl up next to her, disappear inside of her as she would if she were protecting her own cub. We lay there, watching the stars move across the sky and the fire burn down to embers. Our heartbeats slowly became one rhythm and I drifted off to sleep knowing that I was finally home.

In the morning, we again ate and drank until we were full. She then moved to the front of the cave and motioned for me to come. I thought she wanted to show me something. But she motioned for me to leave. Lovingly, but firmly. I was stunned, I looked at her begging her not to make me, compassionate but firmly she motioned again for me to go. And so I did. Down from the mountain and back into that valley of silk grass. I began to walk, like I always had. I turned once to see her one more time but I had walked too far and she was out of sight. So I turned, and continued walking.

And so there ends my dream.
I began to mull it over the moment I woke up. It was too vivid to not mean anything to me. And so I began looking for the parallel in my life to this experience. I found 3 possible interpretations. I would like very much to share them with you.
We are all on our separate journey. We most times don’t know the where or the why’s of it. But we go, because, well that’s what we do.

Perhaps, the bear came to to me as a manifestation of God’s love.
A reminder, of the great love, the great comfort in which God extended to each of us. He fed me, warmed, and comforted me. He slaked my thirst. Held me until we became one heartbeat. But in the morning, he expected me to continue on. That I still did have a journey and although I didn’t want to go because I felt I was home, he knew it wasn’t time for me to come home. I needed to finish whatever the heck I was I was doing.

Perhaps, the bear represented our church.
Again, a reminder of the great comfort this church, our church extends to each of us that comes here thirsty for comfort and warmth. That we as a church are that bear, we should aspire emulate that bear. Fold each other into our church. Be sure to offer the hospitality, find the needs of one another and of our visitors and offer sanctuary, no matter for how short of a time it is, from the journey each of us are on. So as we walk the next 6 days of our lives, we remember vividly the comfort and are sustained.
Perhaps, the bear represents each one of us as individuals.
Oooh, this is the hard one for me because it is no longer God taking care of me, its no long the church taking care of each other as a group. Now, its just me. Do I extend the comfort and the safety of the bear to those I deal with in my 6 days of walking in my journey? After my needs have been met here on my 7th day? Do I make sure that people know there is a safe place with me, no matter the reason they need one? Do I encourage them to continue on, give them courage to continue with the knowledge that there will always be a safe place, a loving place with me, when their journey has been long and arduous, or disappointing or faith breaking? Am I doing that? I don't know, I hope so. I know I will continue to try to do better.

So ends my speculation over what my voices brought to me last Sunday night.
Please join me in the Call to Worship…

Call to Worship
We gather in the Spirit of God,
Many people with a common purpose,
To live the way of God in our lives and world.

Teach Me Wisdom

The Spirit of Wisdom surrounds us
Filling us with knowledge of God’s will
And shaping our hearts into the very heart of God

Teach Me Wisdom

Come, and practice wisdom ways
In this sacred community
That knows and wills the righteousness of God.

Teach Me Wisdom 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Silent Voices

I started a 240 hour externship at the pharmacy at a local hospital last week. I have spent the entire week trying to learn new rhythms, new personalities and panicked that I might kill a patient with the wrong drugs.

Unfortunately, all the voices in my head that usually live and talk to me all week have been silent. Probably thinking that if I did kill a patient, they would go with me to prison. Daunting for them, I am sure. I hope they come back. Its only been a week, but I miss them terribly.

Unfortunately, or fortunately I suppose depending on your opinion, I have no extra thoughts to add today.

But it always humbles me to stand before all of my beloved friends and call us to worship, please join me…

Call to Worship

We gather as a human community,
Ordinary in all things yet extraordinary in this:

In God’s Spirit, we become the Body of Christ.

We are trades people and artisans,
Teachers and lawyers, board members and directors,
Farmers and health workers,
Parents, children, siblings, and partners.

In God’s Spirit, we become the Body of Christ.

We bring a variety of expressions,
Ethnicities, tradition, orientations, backgrounds.

In God’s Spirit, we become the Body of Christ.

We delight in one another, work together,
Disagree at times, and support each other always.

In God’s Spirit, we become the Body of Christ.

Let us worship God.


I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who gave their time, energy and money to create such a wonderful experience for so many kids last week.

On Monday, there was just a big group of kids, coming from every place conceivable on earth. All with different stories and experiences. Most of them strangers to each other.

Friday when I came to pick up my girls, I walked into the church to the most beautiful sight and to one of the most incredible sounds I have ever experienced.

To the sight- I saw that same group of little strangers from Monday but they had been transformed into a community. It only took one week. I think that speaks to the power of our natural desire to belong.

To the sound- Well it sounded like a lot of things to me in a very short time.

It was 4:30 in the afternoon, I heard - NOISE.

I walked to entrance of the fellowship hall and heard - DRUMS.

I scanned the new little community looking for my girls and heard - RHYTHM

Then something happened to me. I closed my eyes, rested my head on the wall, and relaxed. The NOISE, the DRUMS, the RHYTHM, all the same sound, surrounded me and found its way inside me. I suddenly became part of the whole. My mind was calmed and my body was alive. Smile on my face and tears finding their way down my cheeks. (thank goodness nobody noticed that part, I can hear it now, “oh noooo there she goes again!) But in this moment I heard - PRAYER

I also felt JOY. I felt it in every cell of my body.

So again, I thank you for the week you gave my children and for the moment, that incredible moment on a hot, stressful Friday afternoon that you gave me.

Call to Worship

Here we see the richness of God’s love made real in the gifts of friendship, grace, food, and faith.

God’s presence keeps us going and gives us more than we need.

Come closer, search deeply, expect to receive daily bread - and then some.

God makes a place for all and gives to all with generous abundance.

Let us live with hope and trust in God

and worship abundantly.