The phrase “high calling” has so much resonance. It makes me think of those who walk over stones in bare feet carrying water for others. It makes me think of those working under artillery fire in a MASH unit, their own lives on the line. It makes me conjure up the many good samaritans in my own life who have ministered to me when I have been broken and filled with despair.
It also makes me think of the dawn of love over a bankrupt world. The hush of darkness, bone-deep cold. A newborn’s cry. The stirring of hope in the most exhausted heart. the breaking forth of light. How deeply compelling the thought that God first came into the world as vulnerable, pure and good as each of us:
I had my first encounter with a loving force manifesting itself to me when I was weeping over my mother’s mental illness in the depths of a coat closet about this time of year. Something stroked my hair and faith was born in my child’s heart. Call it wishful thinking, call it a desperate young girl’s projection– it took root and lives on.
I am a cradle Episcopalian at great odds at this time with the institutional church– the hypocracy, sanctimony, patriarchal hierarchy and ergo, I wager, with much of scripture. But even so, like all of us, I thirst, I hunger, I sin, I fall, I climb back up, I seek, I try to forgive others and myself.
I joined the “The High Calling” online network to learn, and to share what little I know by virtue of what I have lived. Only today I fell far short of the goodness to which I aspire– I swore at someone and made that person feel badly. I had fallen back into my own darkness and felt trapped. Now, small steps, positive actions, I feel a bit better.
I have never been comfortable “professing” and evangelizing my faith, and I believe that religious labels are inherently divisive. I believe that constantly referring to one’s God by name renders that name meaningless over time– somewhat like the warm water running out of a radiator. To me it is deeds, not words, and certainly, glorifying divine love and manifesting the presence of the divine with works of art.
I’ve had recent experiences blogged about here that have turned me away from what I would normally be doing even today: singing. Living the seasonal story, the narrative, participating in the rituals of Christmas. I am angry and I am wounded, but I am present in my anger and woundedness and to me, any God worth his salt values that honesty.
I have taken recent poetry challenges posted by High Calling members and posted my offerings at La Parola Vivace— my companion blog. Also of note: the lovely anthology, a labor of love by two visionary women, Oil and Water and Other Things that Don’t Mix, to benefit those impacted by the Deep Water Horizon disaster, is now available. It is a beautiful book.
Peace on Earth and Good Will to All. Please take the time to savor the most exquisite piece of the hour that I know of– the Pie Jesus from the Requiem of Maurice Durufle’–