Sunday, February 20, 2022

A Raw Grief

I have been watching Deep Space Nine, perhaps more accurately, listening to it as I cook and do housework. Today an episode came up where Jake Sisko was an old man, a writer who had given up his writing to do research. The plot revolved around Jake's father, Benjamin, being caught in a time anomaly. Every few years he would pop back into normal time and briefly reveal himself to Jake.

It reminded me of some of the vivid dreams I had after Tom died. I had one recurring dream where we would be walking around on a beautiful day, doing the things we normally did, seeing the people we normally saw. And only he and I knew that he would die at the end of the day. It was an excruciating metaphor for the tension between ordinary life and the extraordinary grief that had come crashing into mine. 

Someone in my twitter feed lost her teenage son in a tragic accident last week. When I saw her post about being unable to sleep, my body remembered those awful months after Tom's death. I also had trouble sleeping, and so, so many dreams. She wrote, too, of the need to get back to work, what else are you going to do? I remember people wanting to relieve me of the ordinary chores, but there were no extraordinary chores that I had to tend to, other than the grief. And this was something I couldn't face all day every day. So I went back to work.

I realize now that the ordinary was not so much a salve for my grief, but a way to titrate it. I was grateful for work that required as much of my attention as I could give it, that gave me a few minutes respite from the all too raw reality. 


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Preaching rebellion

"For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. After that, Christ appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me." 1 Cor 15:3-8

Listening to the second reading on Sunday I was struck by how absent women were in it. Paul lists the witnesses to the resurrection, but fails to note that the first witnesses were the women, Mary Magdalene in particular. 

Later this week, I ran into this tweet from The Traditional Wife (in someone else's stream, I don't follow her.) It was a bit ironic as this week I was scheduled to preach. A group of us gather once a week to celebrate the Liturgy of the Word, using the readings of the day. We take turns to offer a brief reflection and then open the floor for some faith sharing. It has been a powerful experience through this pandemic to listen to my brothers and sisters in faith turn over and shake out the word of God for each other. Each time we celebrate together, I am in awe of what the Holy Spirit does in the world. Of how we can all preach.

So this week I preached about churches, about sacred space and time. About how all places are sacred, all of us holy. And this characterization of women preaching as living in rebellion, like fallen angels utterly divorced from God, just makes me laugh. Also, I don't think there were churches for Deborah to preach in, to men or women...

For more women preaching try:

The latest volume of Homilists for the Homeless (all the proceeds from this series go to the poor)
There's a Woman in the Pulpit a collection from the RevGals