The Kingdom is Now

Found on My Porch

I was singing this little Taize song, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” which is from the Gospel of Luke 23:42 and thinking about Advent because it is. And because it is Advent, most things that come into my view get processed through the lens of waiting in hope and expectation, as did the Taize verse.

It’s one of the criminals being crucified alongside Jesus who spoke those words to which Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Today. Today is the Kingdom, it’s already here, I sometimes choose living in my own little world instead of the Kingdom. And my world is so small. My world is full of doubt and worry, what ifs and regrets. The Kingdom is full of hope and joy, saturated with Love.

So during this time of Advent, when I’m looking for the Cosmic Christ, hoping to see God in each face and place I’ll try to remember to live in Today – the palace of the Kingdom.

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Retreat!

Contemplation time.

After Monday’s talk with the Bishop which reaffirmed the idea that the Church does NOT believe I’m called to the diaconate, he suggested I look deeper to my calling and ask for clarity to the root of it; take some “time off” whatever the hell that means. I had a bit of a cry, talked with friends and advisors and came to the conclusion I should become a mystic in the realm of Evelyn Underhill. And God, with her sense of humor, brought me to Holy Eucharist Wednesday morning and who do you think the Episcopal Church honored that day? Yes, Evelyn. So I decided to take a break and on Thursday emailed Tom if one of the hermitages was vacant. He wrote back, yes there was one still available. The Evelyn Underhill cabin. So here I am at the Evelyn Underhill cabin at The Hermitages at the Valle Crucis Conference Center reading “Worship” by Evelyn Underhill.

Reflection Redirection Midsection Objection Detection

Could of sworn I just heard a loon. No loons here in the mountains of North Carolina – must be some sort of windstorm whistling trick.

This seems my free-form time of writing so I’ll just go with the flow. Which makes me laugh thinking of dating someone named Flo – how cool would that be! But I suppose no one but insurance sales advertisement characters are named Flo anymore.

Back to the reason I’m here. Who is not listening? Me or the Church. I vote the Church, but mainly because I don’t like being wrong although I can, at least, admit it these days when I am. There was a time when that would not have occurred to me. I don’t think it’s that I’m not called to be a deacon; I have a deacon’s heart, I have a love of serving others and sharing my understanding of the Good News. I think perhaps the Church is afraid to have someone like me on their team. It’s quite alright if I show up and cheer for her, it seems quite another to have me on her roster. Fear permeates the world. I could be wrong, but I don’t fit the mold of pretty Episcopalians. I’ve had a “wild, wild life” to quote David Byrne, and that doesn’t look proper enough I suppose.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. In the end I will do as I am directed. My fear is that I misheard. And if I misheard in that instance, what about future instances? Can I trust that what I hear is the Holy Spirit? Or am I delusional? Please don’t answer too quickly.

That was a woodpecker clearing the forest. Maybe I’m the loon.

Turtle Wax

My hopeful meeting with the Bishop was just a consolation meeting. I got the Turtle Wax, I did not get what I wanted, learning that even though the Commission on Ministry had decided they did not hear a calling for me to the diaconate, that the Bishop had. Alas, it was not so.

The Bishop says to call my Parish Lay Discernment Committee together again so they might help me find my deeper roots in lay ministry.

I cried and now I’m just tired and wished I had written earlier so I don’t have to now, but I made my committment and I’m sticking to it.

It was harder this time than when he called the evening after they made their decision. I guess I really wanted to hear a change of heart. But, I must remind myself, that I really wanted my ex-husband to change his heart when he divorced me. And my life that I have now could not have existed had we stayed together.

The Bishop said to lick my wounds and read “The Long Loneliness” by Dorothy Day. What the Bishop says, I will do.

As you wish…

Could you give me direction?

Attended the last class of Community of Hope, an Episcopal based 14-week training for lay pastoral caregivers, then there was some nice retreat time with a meditation on the Sabbath. We started the retreat listening to Barbara Brown Taylor and I couldn’t help wondering when the last time she heard those words, but that is between her and her Higher Power.  As Kitty likes to say, “I ain’t judgin’, I’m just sayin’.”

After the retreat I spoke with a woman about spiritual direction. I’ve had a lovely lady deacon as my spiritual director, but she lives part-time out-of-state and I am at a point in my life where I want someone I can see on a regular basis. So I asked Jane and we will begin as soon as she sends me an email. Yea! She seems just what I need: positively focused, Spirit led, and willing to challenge me with reading, journaling, and questions. Plus, she lives about half an hour away!

Now my question is, can I make this blog my journal? Am I willing to be as open and honest here as I am supposed to be in a journal? Is it incredibly egotistic to journal in public? Albeit with no one reading my blog, how public is it? hahahahaa!

As I am told on various occasions, more will be revealed!