Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.
- (Sufi Poet Rumi)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We Are Of Love

We are of Love

In Gainesville, Florida there is a congregation that posted a sign that says, “Islam is of the Devil” on their lawn. This raised public outcry, which was further inflamed when the school year began and the children from this church were sent home from school because they wore t-shirts with the same message on them. My son who works at a local market was sitting outside during break this week when a woman wearing one of those t-shirts came up to him and asked him if he was a Christian. The woman said her message spoke the truth and the only way to God was through Jesus. My son, a devote evangelical Christian, countered that we humans cannot know the truth of how to bring people to love and to God, but we can only let love and God live through us. He said that the woman, with her two young children, would stand a better chance of witnessing for God if she didn’t wear such a t-shirt. Instead, as she spoke to him people who walked by told the woman she was racist and wrong.

This incident is perhaps a more extreme example of how we all tend to get hooked on specific strategies or outcomes. Is this true for you? By setting our sights on our way of doing things, or of being right, do you find that you lose sight of the original dream, value, or need? In this case this woman is saying that the only way to love and to transcendence is through Jesus, and anything else is wrong. Do we in our own ways feel that there is a specific path for love, compassion, and community and judge others if they don’t agree with us? What if we just set our sights on love, connect to that energy, and let go of how we do things? For instance, what if in your congregation you let love flow through you and let go of the kind of music sung, the length or tone of the sermon, or the specific methods used in faith development for children and youth. I imagine that in my own congregation and it is how I wish to live in community – not idolizing my own perspective or even that of humanity, but instead looking inward and outward towards the dream of the community forming power of love, which some give the name of God.

With this potential within us all, I believe that we as a species are not of the devil, but of God, and when are not of evil, but of love.

What bedevils me is when I get stuck in the details of what I want, instead of what sustains my family, my friends, my congregation, this earth, and me.

What sustains you? What devils are in your details?

(Tasmanian Devil)

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