"Faith is different from theology because theology is reasoned, systematic, and orderly, whereas faith is disorderly, intermittent, and full of surprises.... Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting."

Frederick Buechner

Monday, October 15, 2012

Opening

I'm tired. So much is at stake this election year. Or at least I feel like there is a lot at stake. I worry that the world as I know it, one that is emerging toward greater equality for people in all segments of society, will snap shut. That we will close our hearts around fear. I am tired of the angst and the language and meanness, of the lies and of the mask we humans can wear over our prejudices. It's not socially appropriate to be prejudice so we mask the feelings with anger, distortions of truth, and veiled accusations. No doubt being prejudice is wrong. It's also wrong to think we aren't prejudice when we are, to not see our behavior for what it really is. Watching the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates is an example of this. I'm tired.

I know I need to keep working for justice, as I understand it as a progressive Christian. And I will. 

But I am tired of how we speak to one another and treat each other. I am trying to be a better person, myself. I am trying to not live in anger but reach out in compassion. It isn't easy. Some days I just want to turn off television and not read any social media stuff...but I still continue to read and then work to calm my heart with prayer.
  As usual Mary Oliver says it well. And so, on this Monday morning, a day off, I offer this:

 
The Fist
There are days
when the sun goes down
like a fist,
though of course
if you see anything
in the heavens this way
you had better get
your eyes checked
or, better still,
your diminished spirit.
The heavens
have no fist,
or wouldn't they have been
shaking it
for a thousand years now,
and even
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind -
heaven's own
creation?
Instead: such patience!
Such willingness
to let us continue!
To hear,
little by little,
the voices -
only, so far, in
pockets of the world -
suggesting the possibilities
of peace?
Keep looking.
Behold, how the fist opens
with invitation.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(Thirst)

7 comments:

Mary Beth said...

I am SO with you. I refuse to watch the debates; there is no point and it just makes me angry.

But, and I hope this won't make me seem like a total flake: I needed this today. No drinking liquids while you watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlwilbVYvUg&feature=youtu.be

Nancy said...

Thank you, Terri, for the Mary Oliver poem.

And thanks, Mary Beth - hard to keep a straight face now thinking of any of them. Laughter is good!

Terri said...

Thanks, MB and Nancy for stopping by and commenting....and for the link!

Jan said...

I love Mary Oliver. Thank you, Terri. So much better than thinking about politics.

Gaye said...

It might seem odd that American politics are of concern & interest to a Zimbabwean but in a global world what American voters decide will affect our world for better or worse. I find the proceedings disturbing & wish the candidates would be a little more specific on the issues. Loved the poem's perspective.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Oh, how I understand your sadness over this whole election period. Thanks for sharing Mary Oliver's poem. And I LOVE your pumpkin pic up top!

Trying to visit blogs more often, once again.

Blessings
!

Lisa :-] said...

One of the reasons I have not been writing too many political rants this election cycle is that I am tired, too, of the way we speak to and treat each other, even as I am outraged by and incredulous of the things I see and hear. I just cannot be one of the screaming voices, this time around.

Love that Mary Oliver offering...I had not read that one before.