A Minister’s Message – Holes Everywhere – March 10, 2020

In this time of political dystopia, economic chaos and a threatening pandemic, I think of the spiritual power of brokenness. There seem to be holes everywhere. It’s almost as if we have a cross between an elephant and a kangaroo running amok, a giant beast of misfortune, stomping big holes around the world.

We will continue to have services. We are recommending you try to come to the 9:00 AM service where there is more room to spread out. I will also be asking us to sit in every other chair as a precaution to the spreading of contagions. This is what other churches are doing and it seems like a sensible short-term solution. This physical distance is temporary.

What amazes me most about all of us is how courageously we are living our lives even as we stumble from one hole to the next. Last Sunday someone left a large note on my desk, with this Rumi quote on it: “Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged places. That’s where the light gets in.”

In recent weeks we have felt the bandaged places of our lives; not only the worry of our world but the new identities we seek to embrace through our faith as Unitarian Universalists. We yearn to be anti-racist, transgender-welcoming, and empowering to girls and women in our community and beyond. We are called to these aspirations in spite of our worries, or, perhaps, because those worries are calling us to our even-better selves.

The Buddha so long ago taught that our brokenness is our first reality. The many holes we are falling into and climbing out of is the very nature of life. And yet, we live our lives not in the holes, but around them. The Buddha would agree. Reality is an illusion. What we suffer is only a momentary sensory hiccup in the true emptiness of the universe. If we see the holes we fall into as illusions, we are suddenly free from trying to get out. The holes will vanish in time. We will become what we dreamed we could be because there are holes everywhere, not in spite of them.

As the medieval mystic and abbess Julian of Norwich reminds us:

“And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well.”

Falling gracefully, but in the falling we find new ground.

See you in church,
Rev. John