March 19, 2017
"From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages..." So begins the Exodus reading! Let's just say things don't go swimmingly from there, but the story does speak to the process, the stages that the Spirit draws us through as we become more aware of the presence of the Holy in our lives.
Exodus 17:1-7 † Psalm 95 † Romans 5:1-11 † John 4:5-42
We can see this happen in the story of the woman at the well in John, perhaps similarly as to the way it happened with Nicodemus last week, although the details, the challenges, and the questions are a bit different. Comparing these two stories, in fact, might just have something to teach us about our current, let's call them (red and blue) color challenges. Where we sit, what we trust and what we don't, our connection to locations of power or privilege shape what we hear, how we believe, what work we have to do to allow the presence of God to shine through and break our hearts and our lives open. And that breaking open just might enable us to hear one another again.
For further reflection:
Barbara Pine, 20th century
"Sometimes being listened to is so much like being loved, it is impossible to tell the difference."
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 20th century
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
Ernest Hemingway, 20th century
"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."
Henry David Thoreau, 19th century
"It takes two to speak the truth--one to speak and another to hear."
Virginia Woolf, 20th century
"If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people."
William Langewiesche, 20th century
"You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst."
Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), 20th century
"Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don't tell them they aren't. Sit with them and have a drink."
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 20th century
"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."
Hafiz, 14th century
"I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing Light of your own Being."
Mother Teresa, 20th century
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."