I am having a good time this summer remembering how to preach without a text. For me this reflects two realities. One is that my inner self is feeling peaceful, and from this peaceful state I can hold onto the points I want to make between scripture and life. Instead of using the pulpit I am coming down into the congregation and preaching from the center aisle. The second reality is that I feel comfortable with the congregation and value being closer to the people, it's more intimate preaching for the smaller summer community. To be this intimate requires a level of trust. And, so the third reality is that I feel a sense of trust building between me and the congregation. From that place of trust I find myself inviting the congregation into a dialogue for some of the sermon time. It's a process for them, too, finding their voice and feeling safe enough to speak up.
Yesterday I planned to walk my dogs and then ride my bike to a yoga class. But after the dog walk, and a 30 minute meditation, I really felt like taking a long bike ride and skipping the yoga class. Even though it was ninety something degrees the huge trees throughout this community provide ample shade. There's a bike trail the follows the Rouge river and through the University of Michigan, Dearborn, campus. It's about 5 miles one way, but if you stay on it you'll come to a longer trail that is 18 miles northwest to another town. I only rode about 4.5 miles of the trail before turning back. I am out of practice, as a long distance biker, and in the heat didn't want to over extend myself. Plus, I am not really sure now safe the trails are for a woman out by herself. Some of the trail feels very secluded. Here too was a test of trust.
But along they way I encountered other bikers out for an afternoon ride. Some of them casual riders, like me. But some of them serious bikers going the distance, despite the heat. I also encountered people walking the trail, most striking was a Muslim couple. She clearly pregnant, noticeable even through her full attire of dress, long sleeves, and head scarf. He holding her arm, and listening and she softly spoke in Arabic. It was a sweet image. The bike ride was wonderful and stirs in me a desire to explore other trails in the area.
This morning I am pondering the interior process in which I am learning to trust again. It will be a relatively quiet week, or so it seems on this morning.
What about you? What are you pondering? And, what's going on with your week ahead?
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