Minister’s Column April 2019

Dear Ones:

I’m preparing my newsletter materials as spring 2019 arrives. It is cold and wet outside, a reminder that early spring can be messy, muddy and raw. I found a meditation I wrote years ago that addresses this point in the new season. It’s called, “May We Rise to Meet the Wet.” (Duffy Schade and I included it in our book, Hear the Earth Call.)

Now come spring drizzles, spring rains, spring thunder and lighting, spring mud and muck, spring dew on morning grass, on spider webs, on bare feet. May we rise to meet the wet. May we not shy away from the mud and the muck. May spring moisten us. May spring’s wet mornings point us, guide us, lead us to that moistness of spirit so many of us long to experience and express. May spring’s wet mornings point us, guide us, lead us to deep feeling, to intuition, to insight, to apprehension of the holy sacred meaning of our lives, to apprehension of the holy sacred person each of us is called to be, to apprehension of our place on this holy sacred planet in this holy sacred universe. And may spring’s wet mornings instill in us a longing to engage in holy sacred actions in the service of peace, justice, love and compassion.

May we rise to meet the wet.

Our ministry theme for April is wholeness. Sometimes when we talk about wholeness in a spiritual context, we talk about achieving a state of peace, tranquility, serenity. Or we might talk about achieving a healthy balance between heart, mind and spirit. Or we might talk about achieving a mixture of fulfilling work, meaningful relationships, moments of rest and relaxation, joy, and the capacity to help others in need or to participate in social and environmental justice struggles. All these are valid ways of talking about wholeness. But I notice we rarely talk about the cold, wet days—the raw times in our lives; the times when we feel caught in the mud and the muck.

We cannot escape the cold, wet days, the raw weather, the mud and muck. Being in it, accepting it, embracing the way it challenges us must be part of our wholeness too. [Now, if you’ve read this far, please know that the 8th person to contact me either by phone or email and correctly state the language of the proposed 8th UU principle will get lunch on me later this spring!] I dare say we need the cold, wet, raw, muddy days. They teach us patience. They teach us endurance. They teach us that life is inherently messy. They teach us to hang on just a little bit longer before the truly beautiful days of spring arrive. Let’s not resist these cold, wet, raw days of early spring. Let’s lean into them instead. I suspect they made lead us to sources of resilience and power within ourselves—a moistness of spirit, as the meditation says. Deep feeling, intuition, insight, apprehension of the holy, sacred meaning of our lives. I say lean into these cold, wet, raw days of early spring. Lean in and learn what they have to offer.

It’s April already! Spring is here. The holy weeks of Easter and Passover arrive soon. Beautiful days are coming. For now, may we rise to meet the wet!

With love,

—Rev. Josh