Lute Concert next Sunday at 3pm to support Suicide Prevention. Please feel welcome and donate what you can to a good cause and great music.
Annual Meeting is on May 21st. Please save the date (please let us know if you will want Zoom options)
And now…Be Comforted:
What is our deepest work? To be strong when someone does not have their own strength. To believe in another’s goodness and light when they can not see in in themselves.
Sometimes, it is our turn to minister.
Sometimes, it is our turn to be ministered to.
Blessed are those who Mourn, for they shall be comforted.
When we are confronted with the troubles of the world, we mourn. Perhaps this is the deepest type of mourning. To realize, or feel, that the world is not what it should be. To not understand. To question. To be lost and confused. To grieve. To mourn for the world.
Perhaps this deep mourning for other people, other communities, other nations, the earth, and the more than human world is our greatest mourning. Perhaps this is a marker on the way, a pointer pointing us in the right direction. The direction of what really matters to us.
We have our personal mournings. Mourning is valid and real. Grief is incredibly painful. Moving through grief is hard and sometimes feels impossible. Perhaps all our little and big griefs are practice grounds for understanding the world and our place in it. In mourning, we question. How is this possible? And what can I do?
We don’t know how it is possible and there’s usually nothing we can do.
Perhaps this is part of the greater Mystery that is so much bigger than ourselves. It is impossible to understand. And yet at the same time, we are part of it. We’re a part of the problems. We’re a part of the solutions. We are God’s hands in this world. We can work for greater Goodness or let the ugliness grow by our actions or our inactions.
One wouldn’t think that mourning would, or could, save the world. Or that in mourning we shall be comforted is of such import that it’s listed as one of the Beatitudes. But it can save the world.
It is in times of our mourning that we are opened to comfort. No, we don’t want to hurt or suffer. No, we don’t ask to mourn. No, we don’t want to be witness to terrible suffering, but mourning is the doorway opening to comfort. Comfort is one of the greatest treasures. We can be comforted by one another. We can be comforted by the more than human world. We can be comforted by a sense of safety. But we are most comforted when we surrender to that Mystery that we can’t understand. Something bigger than ourselves. We are most comforted when we surrender to Grace.
We mourn for our nation and the world and the Earth. This mourning can feel like an entanglement of complete messiness that makes no sense. Sheer stupidity. There’s no sense to made of senseless death, senseless destruction, senseless hate, senseless anger, senseless fear. These are the times we grieve on a deep level. Collectively. Grief rocks us as people to our core and as individuals to our core. It’s deeply painful and raw. But with that…is an opening.
We can be comforted by one another. We can be comforted by Grace.
Comfort means With Strength. PAUSE.
It’s in these times that we need the greatest strength. To get through our personal griefs, so that we can begin to return and do what it is we are meant to do in this world. Big and small and everything in between. Our work sometimes feels so insignificant in our grief. We wonder: why bother? What is the point? It’s hopeless.
Comfort being with strength is what we need. We need the strength of those around us. And the strength of Grace. We need that so that we can return to our work as the hands of Goodness in this world. When our small lives get rocked with grief, we turn in, but then we must be open to comfort. PAUSE
When the world gets rocked and shaken by these terrible things that have always happened and seem to keep happening, and seem impossible to fix, we find ourselves mixed in the collective heaviness of grief. And it’s heavy. As much we want to fix the world, we can’t. PAUSE. We never could. In some ways grief reminds us of how small and insignificant we are. We realize how little control we have. That our acts are so small we don’t even know where to begin.
This is where we begin: we begin in comfort. We can be comforted by one another, which reminds us of the bigger groups that we are part of, the bigger communities. It’s in those groups that we find hope.
We realize that we can’t change it, whatever it is, but we can change ourselves. And with comfort, we have the strength to do so. Grace gives us that strength to look within and change. To love. That is our greatest calling. To love when it’s the hardest. When we’re grieving. When we’re hurting. When the world seems like it’s falling apart and we feel so insignificant and small. We can still love. We can still change ourselves to become better versions of goodness. We can bring ourselves closer to grace and closer to the call that our faith asks us to answer. To do our good work as small and insignificant as it seems.
With comfort, with strength, with grace, our small work becomes something bigger. Maybe we don’t see it. Maybe it’s small and maybe tiny incremental changes sometimes feel too slow. But it’s there: those incremental changes. Our small acts, and shifting ourselves, and our way of being present, our loving ways, begins to change those around us. And when we come together as like-minded communities working toward change together, to be comforted, to be strengthened, we can be beacons of light and hope and love that begins to ripple. Ripple beyond these doorsteps, beyond our country roads.
Those ripples ripples too may seem small and insignificant. But they are there. And they are making waves. They meet other ripples. They begin to make change. They meet more ripples. They grow and they grow. One tiny wave at a time. They grow.
Think of the power of anger and hate and this uncontrolled grief. PAUSE. That too starts as small individuals hurting. The rippling of not understanding. Of hopelessness. Of anger. Of Frustration. Of hatred. Of division. All of that also ripples and we feel it. It’s what feeds the hopelessness.. It’s what feeds the inaction. We begin to feel lost, forgotten, weak.
That rippling grief leads to mourning and that mourning leads to comfort. Mourning leads to strength. We must let it in! We must say yes to comfort. We must allow it to strengthen our hearts and our hands for the hard work.
We see how easy the ugly ripples can flow, but the good ripples move just as far and fast. We simply need to begin to make ripples. Ripples of comfort. Ripples of strength. Ripples of Love. Ripples of Goodness. Rippling examples. Reaching out to the work we are called to do. Reaching out to Grace. And when we reach out, that mourning is answered in the blessings of strength.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to hurt. It is okay to mourn. But open yourself to Comfort, because when we are comforted, we are given strength. And that strength is to be used for love and hope and light. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.