Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday.. into the Grind of Work!

Its been a throwback kinda Thursday!  Paul and I began the morning with coffee and toast with peanut butter... how many mornings did we rise from the gym floor and stumble to the kitchen and fumble for coffee?  And, having propped our eyes open with caffeine as a hundred or more kids snored away, enjoyed toast and peanut butter as the volunteers from the church prepared breakfast for the masses... good sustaining memories and simple things that accomplished significant impact... at least we hope!  Kids had fun, learned that faith could be real and fun, and nurtured relationships with some pretty amazing young people!

Listening to Paul play last night touched me to the core.  The cadence of the melody and the gentleness of his voice allowed me to wrestle with the questions of the song:

How well did you live?
How well did you love?
How well did you learn to let go?

In the end
what matters most
is how well did you live
how well did you love
how well did you learn
to let go

How well did you live?
How well did you love?
How well did you learn to let go?

In the end
what matters most
is how well did you live
how well did you love
how well did you learn
to let go
                 ~ Paul Rumbolt

Others will be the judge of my living.  I do my best - its all I can do... I seek to be true to the passion within me.  I seek to serve those whose lives call upon my heart.  I seek to let go of pain and negativity.  Yes, others will be the judge of my living and loving and how I have let go... as for me, I am at peace.  The experience in the early morning hours of July 1st when we were told to prepare for an emergency landing as we came into Toronto was informative for me:
  • No.  I did not want to die.
  • Yes.  I was afraid of how I might die.
  • Yes.  I was at peace. 
And I still am at peace - but songs such as "We All Fall Down" cause one to reflect again on mistakes
and choices... and then I remember the need to "let go" and that "grace falls all around" and that I am experiencing that grace (love) even today...

Upon arriving back in Gravenhurst I went looking for my daily reflective post on Krista Tippet's blog "On Being".  The offering I chose to read today did not disappoint.  In an entry entitled Until the Heart Stays Open, Laura Kelly Fanucci writes the following:
Whenever I let the heartache change me, when I let my bruised soul stay stretched out so much longer than I thought possible, when I made the grueling choice again and again to let this loss soften my sharp edges into empathy — that was when I discovered God. 
As if I were tripping over an obvious root on the path — oh! there you were all along! — and remembering that this was exactly how growth happens: you love, you lose, you live on changed. 
Does God break our hearts on purpose? Make us suffer to learn a lesson? Theologically I bristle at these thoughts. This is not the nature of love.
But I do know that something strange and surprising happens when I sit with loss. When I refuse to push away pain. I find God in the midst of it. I learn how God’s heart breaks over and over again with ours. I begin to understand again how the mystery of dying and rising is the shape of loving wisdom.
As my theology has evolved, I would change the word God to LOVE... the mystery of acceptance and affirmation, hope and encouragement, commitment and passion shared between two people, a family or even a community of people...
Whenever I let the heartache change me, when I let my bruised soul stay stretched out so much longer than I thought possible, when I made the grueling choice again and again to let this loss soften my sharp edges into empathy — that was when I discovered LOVE
As if I were tripping over an obvious root on the path — oh! there you were all along! — and remembering that this was exactly how growth happens: you love, you lose, you live on changed. 
Does LOVE break our hearts on purpose? Make us suffer to learn a lesson? Theologically I bristle at these thoughts. This is not the nature of love.
But I do know that something strange and surprising happens when I sit with loss. When I refuse to push away pain. I find LOVE in the midst of it. I learn how LOVE's heart breaks over and over again with ours. I begin to understand again how the mystery of dying and rising is the shape of loving wisdom.
I know this LOVE when I share my struggles and make myself vulnerable.  I know this LOVE when I risk being open to new people and new experiences.  I know this LOVE when trust is developed and shared.

A colleague has accused me of becoming "some kind of flower child..." I laugh and then I realize that there is some truth to that.  I am gaining a new appreciation for the natural world in which I live.  The scents and scenes of fields and forests of flowers and trees... I breathe deeply and even on this Thursday when I have been thrown back into work with meetings and other administrative responsibilities, I am so glad to be alive! ...on the Sabbath Road...


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