Sunday, June 24, 2012

Warts and All

Numbers 16:1-7
Korah - Are We Each Holy?

Oh yud hey vav hey (I will be what I will be), who makes us both full to overflowing and broken open, broken-hearted, what is it to be holy amongst heartbreak and regret? Knowing we have done our part, walked our path as faithfully and fully as possible, knowing we have strayed and returned, knowing we have wronged and forgiven, been wronged and been forgiven, believed and not believed, but grown.

Here we stand on the precipice of the vision that carried us and carried you, our loving, eternal guide, through so many turns and twists, so many joys and sorrows. What are we to think? To feel in this moment of "no"? This moment of dreams denied, of hopes ungranted, of surefootedness taking us to the brink of salvation but not into it? Some of us were ready. The rest of us were not. Should we be ashamed?

Perhaps it is another lesson, another way of knowing that our past and present and our future, while all existing at once, do not get to be fully inhabited all at once. That we will live on in the way we have walked and talked and loved and godded ourselves by your hand, into those around us who will carry on the journey.

But God, why some of us and not others? It's not fair. It feels unfair. And to make this bitterness into sweet takes many tears, many words, even some blame tossed around to alleviate our disappointment. In our hearts we know we did all we could, and yet we still carried our fear and doubt. We see as we stop here that this leaving, this journey -- it was bigger than us. It will go on without us, and we are bereft, but we take comfort in our courage and our failings. You made us in your image, there is peace in that. We are chosen and not all chosen for the same tasks. There is peace in that too, once the sadness fades. But the doubts, the self-confidence, that takes time.

We thank you for the journey. The imperfectly perfect journey. We send our hopes and our children into the future, the Land of Milk and Honey. We hope they will know and honor the labor and sweetness, of work and guard and holy, of promise and redemption, of honoring your name that has led us, honored us, protected us and chosen us, and allowed us to reach this day.

I Am Your God

Poet Rabbi
Leviticus 19: 1-18(?)

We are sacred. In God's image.

It takes us time to grow into this state of being. Sometimes we have to leave things alone, let them gestate, grow small, then bigger, then bear fruit, then offer this bounty to God, to abundance, to the dreams we all carry. THEN, after all that patience and gratitude, only then do we eat the fruits of the seeds we planted long ago.

We have rules to follow. Specific do's and don'ts, consequences and rewards, sorrows and joys, harshness, bitterness, and sweetness as we grow together, but the edges blur as we grow and we leave them be, for at the edges of our being are the outliers who haven't found their place yet, the pieces of ourselves we haven't yet accepted, haven't yet integrated, the strangers in ourselves and in our midst. We offer them (and us) the edges of our abundance, amid our fears and nightmares, our faults and demons, and we offer them -- individually and communally -- the opportunity to eat and be full, find their moment of plenty, hopefully shine our light by just leaving these edges for them, hoping they/we will find peace to heal hunger, comfort to counter shame, hope to challenge the moments of doubt, right action to transform what has come before that was misaligned.

And we stand together as sacred, in God's image, a community serving God, following and learning and discovering the actions and words that lead to holiness and joy, not reaching for every single last drop, but sliding into wholeness, happiness and contented, generous peace.