Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Heart, Prayer, Sisters, Potter's Field

There are times I start to write, knowing that I have to write, but not knowing what or why I have to.  This is one of those times.

It's been a day. One of those days.  A great day.  Yes.  A hard day.  Yes.  It's been a day.

The day began.  I listened to a friend relate the story of his doctor appointment yesterday.  He is having heart troubles... again.  He is a fine story-teller and he recounted it all with humor, but it was clear that he is ready to be finished with all this business.  It doesn't seem likely that this business will finish anytime soon.

Prayer... we pray every morning together in the Just Faith office where I am now working.  Normally, our community prayer centers and calms me, but today's prayer shook me up and put me off-center. It was one particular line about Israelis and Palestinians that seemed to perpetuate the idea that Israelis are nearly innocent victims of Palestinian terrorism.  I could not focus on the rest of the prayer.  Even now I cannot formulate thoughts properly, and keep writing and erasing lines.  Though I feel nervous (when I allow myself to think about it) about the time I will spend with CPT in Hebron, I also feel ever more committed, if for no other reason that to bring another voice of witness into the discussion here at home about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  I know my presence there is needed and that my voice here is equally needed.

After prayer I spent a few hours thinking and writing about the practice of Lectio Divina.  The writing and editing that I get to do at work feeds my soul, but reminds me that I have been inattentive to my personal writing.  And so here I am.

I left work to meet the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth that are in town from India.  We ate lunch and did a little touring of Louisville, though I had to leave for part of the tour.  I lived with one of the sisters when I was in Chatra and had met several others at various points while I was there.  Being with them today brought back a flood of memories and helped settle some of the sediment that the morning stirred up.  Being in their presence simply felt right.  I found myself smiling through the visit.  I shared dinner with them also.  Many asked, "When are you coming to India again?"  My answer was, "I don't know. God is sending me to Palestine now, but I hope the plan for me includes going back to India.  I'm just waiting for God to let me know."

From the high of being with the sisters, I entered the Clifton Center.  More stirring up.  I ran into friends from church, former colleagues and students, people I've met through Couchsurfing, sisters who I'd just been with minutes before: people who normally are not in the same place at the same time, all of whom I'd have loved to talk to, if there'd been time.  There wasn't.  

We were there for the world premiere viewing of Edward Heavrin's "The Potter's Field," a documentary about local high school groups, including the two high schools I've worked at, who perform (though that feels too sterile a word) funeral services for the indigent.  The movie contrasted these acts of love with unceremonious and dehumanizing mass burials of indigent persons in Chicago and New York.  Through the film, we also met several men who may someday be the recipients of a final act of care from strangers. Whoa.


"Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

It doesn't seem likely that this business with the heart - its state of brokenness, sometimes by our choosing and often not - will finish any time soon. Though I don't always appreciate the brokenness in the moment, ultimately, I am grateful that I can be broken open to allow joy, sorrow, and the complexities between, within, and around them inside my being.

These are the ramblings and rumblings of the day.

Good night.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy the rambling...keep writing. I saw many things in that worth follow up discussion.