Thursday, September 11, 2008


Being in right relationship is so important. Reconciliation seems to be a main message of the Episcopal Church at this time. Reconciliation is the idea that the different Via Media groups, Remain Episcopal, and so many have attempted throughout these past almost five years since the first dioceses began cries of “otherness” and separation. Reconciliation is ongoing at the Cathedral of the Diocese of Missouri as it is in so many other parishes and dioceses.

As a nation, we are attempting to reconcile ourselves to the loss of so many during the tragic attack on U.S. soil seven years ago today. Would that we had only attempted reconciliation with those who hate us prior to that attack!

As a nation, we have basically reconciled ourselves into an idea that we need trade with China. All that means is that we want their money and the cheap labor they provide since they are not restricted to obeying simple human rights. Rather than reconciling, perhaps that is more properly named justification for greed.

So, why can’t we reconcile (or justify) opening relations with Cuba? The site is in Spanish but the message is clear. “Ike castiga la Isla.” Ike punishes the island.

Gustav on August 31; Ike on September 8. Gustav with winds up to 200 mph and waves of 50 feet; Ike’s winds were less but its' wave just as devastating especially as everything is still flooded from Gustav. Cuba has been overwhelmed. And we, as individuals, are not allowed to help. The Baptist men are headed that way. I am sure that ERD is there also. But if I had family members there, I could not help them. Not unless they were immediate family - and then I could only send $300. That is not a Cuban restriction. That is a U.S. one.

And Haiti…what about Haiti? The lowest of the low; the least of the less-than. How many actually died? Or are still missing? How many left “homeless”?

In the Episcopal Church, we are still arguing about gays and lesbians and whether or not we as individuals think these people are moral, immoral, depraved or blessed. Can lesbians or gays truly be called by God or get married? Some are so mad about it all that they are just going to quit…they are taking all “their” toys and going to South America. The issue of women as clergy is just as alive today as it has been for the past thirty years. The “judges” in Fort Worth have deemed their limited viewpoints regarding women as so important as to upend the Church to get their own way. Shame, shame…

For those who are so discontent – just know that prayers are following you and you are welcome to return whenever you get over your selfish histrionics.

On the House of Bishops and Deputies listserve they are cussin’ and discussin’ ideas and opinions on “adiaphora” (matters not essential to faith but permissible nonetheless). Arguing things such as these are important, I suppose…on days when there is nothing else that one can do. I guess that minds can be changed and opened…eventually.

Politically, we are blogging about pigs and lipstick and taking an overused aphorism that is so simplistic as to be stupid and turning it into a political talking point. Can we get back to the important stuff, please?

Let us get back to the facts. Let us talk about Justice for All, the assault on the economy, Global Warming; poverty that kills; lack of education; women and children sold into prostitution; lack of sanitary water, food, sewage systems and oh so many God help us problems…let us talk about death. And let us talk about our “neighbors”.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” (Matthew 25:45)

Why aren’t we, as a nation, reaching out – especially on this day of infamy – to our closest neighbors in both Haiti and Cuba who are in such great immediate need? Why can we not set aside the shallow, narrow political agenda of decades past to help those who are unable to help themselves? What better way to prove our nation is truly “one nation under God” than to reach out on this most painful day to that which has at times been considered an enemy? At what point do we learn to forgive? When exactly do we recall that we are not judges; rather, we are witnesses to the steadfast love of God.

When we become witnesses to that hesed, then we will be reconciled to God.

The rest will then be easy.


Lindy said...

The problem is that you can't have Hesed without Gevurah. We forget that to our peril.

Barbi Click said...

But God's hesed -- steadfast love is what we are to aim for, isn't it? We receive that hesed -- undeserved, un-requested, yet given freely and purely and unconditionally. how can judgment (human judgment) enter into the equation? In trying (and yes I know, failing miserably) to emulate God's steadfast love (rather than the word "kindness") we can offer no judgment. It is not ours to even hold, much less give.

Lindy said...

Why try to emylate God's love? God gave you your own love to use. Besides, we can't offer God's love because we aren't God. Maybe we offer a shadow, or maybe we help people find a way. But, that's it.

Hessed is not something received as much as something that simply is.

If you are aiming then you've missed the point. Life happens within ALL the sefriot. Hessed alone makes for a very small God. Hessed is balanced and made complete when it is the right hand of Gevurah.

But, even as a pair Hessed and Gevurah are only part of the tree... the Etz haChayim if you'll indulge me a little Hebrew. We camp out on only one branch to our peril. That's all I'm saying.

Even the early Kabbalists argued about the sefriot... I am sure I can't add anything to your understanding. I don't understand myself. I get confused even about the things that are generally agreed on. Zohar and Safer Yitzera are there for all, to enlighten and confound.

Good luck with your studies.

A fellow student,


Barbi Click said...

My understanding is that we are to try to emulate God's steadfast love. Doesn't mean we will make it...I think after all these many centuries, God probably figured out that even Jesus H. Christ is not going to bring us to that real point of understanding.

Barbi Click said...

As to the Hebrew...I only took two semesters of Biblical Hebrew and I have been terribly lax lo these past years. Sadly and to my own loss...I loved it and need to make it a part of my daily Rule.

Re: the Kabbalists...they (and you to that point) are way over MY head!!!!! Although I am interested. I have wanted to learn more about the ancient ones. I lack the discipline.
The only thing I know about my understanding is that I will know what I am to know when it is time for me to know it. More than that is more than enough. More than enough does not belong to me.