Friday, June 23, 2017

Pastoral Letter

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
                     - Mary Oliver

This afternoon as I sat outside Joe Van Gogh Coffee Shop sermonizing; a man walked out of  the door: coffee in one hand and a bicycle helmet in the other. There was another man sitting at a table opposite me who asked him about his bike, and then I heard the bicyclist say, "Yes, this bike saved my life. I thought I was losing something when I lost my car, but in fact I was gaining a life I never knew was possible." He explained that after a DUI, prison time, a failed relationship, and so many other losses, he was gifted with the opportunity to live life from the bottom up. So often in our lives, we mistake life and "truly living" for all the comforts and expressions of a life well-lived. I wonder what we might need to "lose" in order to gain "life"? 

          May the Spirit lead the way, 

          Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas