Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The receiving end

I've been attempting to subvert my inherent tendency to last-minute sermon prep by posting the material to launch the Revgals lectionary leanings this month. Trying, through a druggy haze, to produce a launch-pad to-day I realised afresh that this unwelcome, unwanted gift of a broken arm might still be a gift if I can only let it...

I had been pondering a suitable Lenten discipline for a few days when, woomph, Sunday happened and I find myself saddled with one that will test not only patience, but my ability to let go and allow others to do the ministering...
So if I were preaching (or as I preach to myself) I guess my focus would be on the need to give up the need to be in control, the need to be relentlessly busy...
As I waited in A&E, I was completely helpless (trying to move was quite painful enough to put me off the idea conclusively) & around me were so many others with no power to help themselves in any way.
I had become the object of verbs and not the subject, relying on the care and gentleness of others. This experience of passivity is used wonderfully in Vanstone's The Stature of Waiting
as he considers the passion of Christ - but for me there is something striking about my involuntary solidarity with those who fond themselves the victims of their own lives....those made powerless by economics (very few choices to be made from the bread-line), by place or accident of birth.
For the moment I cannot initiate, I can only wait.

When I baptise, I love to share the Marcan account of the baptism of Christ that we are set for Sunday. I point out always that when Jesus appears on stage here, he has done nothing to earn God's love. The teaching, the healing, the utter obedience unto death all lie in the future
- but still God looks down and speaks the unconditional love that is always being poured on each of his children.
For relentless activists like me, learning to sit and allow God to love me through family, friends & congregation will be discipline enough as I travel, confined for my own safety, like Noah and his passengers through the six long weeks of Lent.

I guess six weeks is a pretty average time for bones to mend. I wonder if it will be long enough to learn this fundamental lesson in heart as well as head.

4 comments:

Chris said...

Beautifully expressed, Kathryn. Thank you.

This is one of those lessons we have to keep on learning, isn't it?

May you be richly blessed and thoroughly cared for!

Songbird said...

Love you, hope this day is bringing the beginning of healing.

MikeF said...

Six weeks - you couldn't make it up...

"I had become the object of verbs and not the subject, relying on the care and gentleness of others."

Even one handed you manage to type the most memorable sentences!

I'll be praying... especially for the care and gentleness...

Mike

ElastiGirl said...

what a lenten discipline you have - and so beautifully written - thank you for sharing your reflections.