Saturday, April 7, 2012

Shabbat during Passover: what is possible

Poet Rabbi
Exodus 34:4-10
Ki tissa
Shabbat during Passover: what is possible

How do we heal our hurts of the past? Our wrongdoings? Our overt and covert inconsideration of those we love? Our moments of rage and disdain, or hurtful words and actions?

“God will visit the iniquity of parents upon children and children’s children, upon the third and fourth generation.”

Ouch. That’s a big deal – what we do now reaches into a future we will not see. We are affected by a past we do not know. So what do we do?

Seriously. How my great-great grandparents were in the world affects how I parent my children. I am touching the lives of my children’s grandchildren – and here’s the thing: I am SO not perfect.

So I put perfect aside and I take comfort in two things. 1. What I do, how I am, matters. 2. I can be an agent of change.

Agent of change, the past ripples, the present ripples, the future is happening now (we just haven’t gotten there yet) and it ripples.

So how do we heal? How do we deal with our own iniquities and those visited upon us?

Two ideas: 1. We pray. We acknowledge who we are, who we have been, who we hope to become, and we ask for forgiveness in the fullness of our knowing. Forgiveness of G-d, of our children, of our parents, of the ancestors we don’t know and the future we will never see. But if we close our eyes, let ourselves go a little, draw closer to G-d, we can feel them. Which leads to #2…

2. It is never too late to love. To show it backwards and forwards. This makes us agents of change, it makes us humble, it allows us to be in the eternal company of all that is, was, and will be, the imperfect past-present-future-God who is ever evolving as we change too; and we make a commitment to awareness, to search the corners of our souls. Not with guilt and heavy hearts alone, but with hope – that we will not go one step further unaware, that we will not go one step further in the old way, the way of hardened hearts, the way of slavery, the way of believing that we DO NOT matter.

We matter. We heal with G-d and love and hard truth. We heal by acknowledging our screw-ups, sometimes a lifetime of them, and working inside to say NO MORE. I won’t keep doing that.

And then we ripple – past, present, future – into our freer selves. Not perfect, not without relapse or complaint, but in knowing that LOVE matters, that all is not lost, that if our iniquities ripple, so too must our hope, our love and our awareness.

So go forth and know we all do it. But not one step further that way, it’s time for anything we can do to serve that unseen past and future. This is how we heal. This is how we see and know and serve God.

– Samantha Libby

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bring Ourselves Open (to make a place for God to dwell)

(end of Feb)

Everything in you that is beautiful, valuable, a gift, bring it to this community and offer it up, for this is how God will dwell within and amongst us.

Make space, face each other, face toward the center of the ring and look up, raise your voice in song, your actions, your deeds, infuse them with all that is beautiful and know that when we are overflowing AND when we are in dark times, the downswing of grief, depression, regret, shame, we can still face forward and make space for the in-dwelling of holiness.

We, together, as a people, as a community, must remember and search and see the gifts that dwell within all of us, and not place ourselves above or below each other, for our humanity, our piece of God, our sanctuary, cycles through us, individually and communally, we all lean forward to learn compassion and forgiveness, holiness and love, weakness and strength; we all face our own capacity for brokenness and beauty, for being less and more, for being down and out and then lifted up.

It cycles through us all and still, each day, each moment, still we must face the center and look up, look around, and bring our holy, beautiful, broken, strong, and healing lives forward; as individuals, as a community, as souls bringing their beauty and service forward, opening our hearts and our gifts, orienting all pieces of ourselves to the larger holiness we hold and share, the treasure of every single person offered to God.