Just Plain Foolish

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The way that can be explained...

One of the things I really enjoy about blogging is the way that it connects writer and audience (and sometimes we take turns being writer and audience.) This allows the communication to go more easily in both directions. And that's helped me a lot over the last year that I've been writing. (The actual "birthday" for this blog is next week.) It's also made for some interesting exchanges - y'all keep me on my toes.

Recently, a couple of readers, J. and B., asked me some questions about how I come to discernment, what do I do when things are uncertain, how do I see my way? As usual, I found myself falling back on natural metaphors to explain my view of the human relationship to the divine. We are like people gathered around an ocean, looking out onto the deep waves of Grace. Each of us sees something a little bit different, depending on where we are standing and on how we see, yet we are all looking at the same ocean. And even if we surrounded the ocean, there are still bits off the horizon, or deep in the crevasses of the Earth that we cannot see or properly know.

Discernment can be simple and can be harder, and that hardness can simply be my own resistance. Sometimes, I feel like Jonah - no, I won't! Why should *those people* be treated with love and grace? While I haven't been swallowed by a whale (though I did get pretty thoroughly bodysmacked the last time I went bodysurfing...), I do get called to compassion for people I don't *want* to be compassionate towards, and sometimes find myself getting a bit smacked over the head with it.

I try to stay true to what I have been given to say, but that can be very hard going at times, and right now, I feel that my words are not enough for what I want to say. At the same time, I feel frustrated at giving as my answer to some of the questions what feels like a variant on "the way that can be explained is not the Way."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent queries... you know I love the ocean metaphor. Staying true... Perhaps that is why I try my hand at poetry sometimes. The kernel of truth is often hidden in layers; what you are trying to uncover is minute - tiny even, and scaling back the medium to a smaller dimension, i.e., using fewer words to say more, sometimes helps me discover what I am trying to express. This is helpful especially when dealing with an abstract topic or difficult issue.

5/23/2007 8:24 AM  

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