Truth teller, vision weaver
I have to take a moment and give thanks. This has been an especially thankful time in my life as I have mentioned in other blogs lately. Yet today, I give thanks for Katie Sherrod and the witness that she is to this church and to so many of us in this Diocese of Fort Worth.
It is an awesome thing to watch, this effect that she has on a group of people. I have watched as she soothes an anxious group, or even as has been known to happen, Canon Hough looking to her for affirmation of a historical fact or figure regarding the diocese. Too often in the past, I have witnessed the fear that creeps out of others like a black cloud over a room when she rises to speak. This is nothing against her…it is just the panic coming from those who hate all that she stands for and is willing to speak against. It is very telling.
Thankfully today, I had the opportunity of watching the positive effect that Katie Sherrod has on a room full of people seeking truth.
The two of us were invited to meet with a group of concerned parishioners from a local parish. Their concern arose from the fact that they just weren’t getting enough information. At each question, a “need to know” factor was being imposed. Someone deemed that they had no need to know. So, they wanted to speak to someone outside of their parish. They chose wisely in asking Katie to answer their questions.
One person posed a concern of how to respond when questioned by another as to what authority do we claim to express the views we embrace. As I listened to her weave a mesmerizing story of how we claim that “authority” to speak out against that which we deem misguided in this diocese, I pictured Katie hovering over us with a large darning needle and long strand of thread. Each time I hear her tell it, it is as though it is the first time that I have heard it. She quietly reminded us all that it is through our baptisms that we are connected with Jesus Christ and that it is by that very baptism that we claim membership in that one Body and one Spirit; one hope in God’s call to us. She reminded us that we are firmly knitted together through that baptismal covenant and our promises that we will not only proclaim the Good News of God in Christ but that we will seek and serve God in ALL persons, all the while striving for justice and peace among all people, remember that we are to respect the dignity of every human being. It is our duty and responsibility to speak out against unanswered questions and half-truths and deliberately misconceived ideas.
It is in that vision, that I clearly see Katie’s mission in this church. She has been knitting for a long while now. She speaks out so clearly…so strongly…so quietly. The unarmed truth she speaks comes from the Holy Spirit. Within it is a peace that passes all understanding. She speaks the truth of unconditional Love.
"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." Martin Luther King, Jr.