We have been away from the village for two weeks. It began in glorious celebration – both Micaela and I began the trip quite sick and there were some bumps along the planning and execution of every little detail. However, through all the fragility and humanity I was ordained to word and sacrament ministry, a holy miracle to be sure! The first thought I had when the bishop spoke the words were, “You can't take it back!” – its full on forward march into more frailty of life and more humanity (mine and others) than I will have patience for. Perhaps the foibles of the ordination service were the foretaste of all that is to come?
After dodging an April blizzard we kept on moving out the east coast for a family wedding. I am not sure there could be anything more contrary to village life than the east coast. Everywhere you look there is concrete and traffic jams, phones in hands, gadgets on belts or devices stuck in ears. Also, I am convinced the east coast uses three times the plastic bottles of any other region of the country – seriously, they are everywhere! I swallowed my culture shock and spent the weekend with my incredible, gracious and generous family. We celebrated a wedding, saw some monuments and delighted in the cherry blossoms (I'll leave the fun of downtown DC traffic out of the moment)!
The trip ended with Micaela having another major dental procedure – the girl has had a rough year in that department. We spent two days dealing with that and hearing the news of the Boston bombing. A hit so close to “home” sends me reeling with a hunger to know what is happening everywhere. I scoured my favorite global news sources knowing that prayers for peace and healing are needed for the people of Boston, Saudi Arabia and every other place on the globe that has a word for “bomb”. I heard the gospel tonight as a young girl said tonight at village youth group, “if we do revenge and hit back then the circle keeps going and we'll never know peace”. The wars that rage in countries, in homes, in shelters, in churches – at the Boston marathon...these are true pictures of the frailty of human life and they make me ever more sure of my call, the call to be light and love and a screamer of justice in our oppressive world.
I feel such peace after returning to our little mountain village. Not a peace that settles into complacency, but a peace of knowing that I am in a community that struggles side-by-side with understanding, a place that centers on the mystery of prayer and silence – not too many words and busy-ness and over opinionated everything. I feel peace knowing that my daughter can decompress after the over stimulation of the world and have a conversation with her pastor and peers about what she saw on the TV these last days. The village isn't mean for hiding...its a community that pushes me further into the light and teaches me how to raise my voice for justice and peace and love. That is my call, and it has something to do with ordained ministry...but so much more it has to do with being a daughter of God.
“When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,...I come into the peace of wild things.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” Wendell Berry