Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wrapped in the Universe

A few things have been sitting with me recently. Pam, over at Reaching for the Light, asked why Love is not one of the usually listed Quaker Testimonies, and there has been some really good discussion in the comments. And both Peterson Toscano, over at his blog, and Thee Hannah! have pointed out the recent news that Pastor Ted Haggard has announced after three weeks that he's certain he's completely heterosexual. (Wow, I couldn't announce that after years of faithful marriage.)

And I found myself thinking about an experience I've had at some of the most frightening times in my life - when I left college because of my health and didn't know what was next, when a dear friend and mentor died, each time my dad has been sent someplace violent, when I was so sick that noone knew whether I would live or not... Sometimes, when I feel like I'm falling, it feels like the Universe has reached out to wrap me in an Infinite Love. And that Love is offered freely, so much that it is too much for the finite me to contain. I wonder if that is what some of the Catholic saints have meant when they ask to become simply a vessel, a tool in the hands of God. What Jews mean when they talk about the Shekhina. What Rumi meant when he said "I am drunk. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home."

The finite me, of course, knows that I often stumble and fall. I am impatient, a perfectionist, all too often careless or selfish. And yet, that Love isn't just for other people. It calls me to forgive myself as I would forgive others. And it finds blessings in me, who I am, the essential person. Not just the me who does good things, but the me who likes ginger lime soda and bluegrass music, the me who sometimes writes down odd little thoughts, the me who has those thoughts, even the me who is sometimes sad or angry, who is impatient or stubborn. That person is part of how the universe is made, and it is good.

Ted Haggard, too, and even George W. Bush are parts of the universe. I could wish that each of them might also experience that Love, so big it washes beyond the person, beyond fear, way beyond hate. I could wish that Mr. Bush could know that love, that wish to reach out in trust and hope to others, rather than staying in fear and hatred, trying to keep others there with him. I could wish that Mr. Haggard could see that simply how a person is made to love doesn't define their worth, that each of us has an essential core of being that is good and part of the beauty of creation and that our capacity for love is part of that.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post. Simply that; thank you.

2/09/2007 7:38 AM  
Blogger Little Black Car said...

I've always considered it one of those open-ended, what-do-you-need? things. Everyone needs something a little different in their own way, so there's no point in trying to pin it down with a definition. It also, in some respects, seems to include all the "regular" testimonies. Sort of the universal testimony.

2/12/2007 6:52 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Wow. Reading this post felt like wrapping myself in all that love.

*hugs you tight*

2/12/2007 10:46 AM  

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