December 2017 – Rev. Diane Dowgiert
There are many things I wish I had control over. The weather and traffic come immediately to mind. If I was in charge, there would be sunny days and green lights all the way. Yet, at the top of the list of things I wish I could control is the safety of the people I love. I want home, church, school, and workplace to be safe harbors; shelter and sanctuary from the violence that is all too prevalent in our world today. Oh, were it so that I had the power to keep all my loved ones safe.
News of shootings in churches and schools is unsettling, to say the least. Here at UUCG, there is a team in place, volunteers who have been trained to keep their eyes open, watching for activity that seems to be out of the ordinary. Statistically speaking, it is far more likely to die in a traffic accident than in a mass shooting, and yet, on the other side of those statistics are human lives, taken from us violently, and too soon.
Our spiritual journey together asks a certain amount of vulnerability, letting down our defenses enough to allow each other entry to inner worlds of thought and emotion. Our hearts are tuned to empathy and compassionate response to the distress of our human kin – which is a good thing – and, it can be overwhelming. We are hard-wired for self-preservation; hard-wired for fear. And still, we must do what it takes to get up every day, to do what must be done to feed the children, and to move forward, knowing that life, fragile and beautiful, is worth living.
These are hard times for us progressive/ liberal religious folk, who stubbornly and courageously gather in covenant with life affirming values of peace and love and justice, occupying brave space against all odds, holding and loving each other through all the trials and troubles that come with being alive.
What I know for sure is that we are stronger together, that when we join our collective energies in service of our highest values, we are a force to be contended with, one strong body dedicated to the common good.
The holidays and holy days that lie ahead call us to celebrate the mysteries and miracles of life, in wonder and awe for all that is beyond our control, yet willing to do all that we can to make this life, this one wild and precious life, filled with more joy, more peace, more love – not just for ourselves, but for everyone.
Yours in the interim,