Monday, 23 January 2012

The Sin-Eater & a Bee in my Bonnet

Another thing Lynch said in his introit to this gem of a book was: Argyle (the main character) 'knows the greatest gifts are one another; the greatest sins against each other.' (xxiv)

I have a bee in my bonnet at the moment, as I've been developing stories for telling, and the words I want to say when I address a dinner this Friday.
The kin-dom of God attracts me as a name for God's Way of Love, otherwise named as the kingdom of God/ Heaven. It is a term I read in the poetry of Bruce Sanguin (If Darwin Prayed, 2011). I like it for its direct contrast, swapping a hyphen for the 'g' and turning the focus from a power-protecting king to relationships with kin.
One of my favourite concepts from the Hebrew Bible is hesed, in English most accurately translated as lovingkindness - a love that affirms the other in the fulness of their being.
It seems to me that Jesus was all about fulness of being, he came that we might have life in all its fulness.

these disparate thoughts come together in my dream for the world, which emerges from my experience. I dream that all would know what I have come to know - fulness of being. I dreamt for such a long time of becoming a writer, of living into my gift with language and story in a way that would bring something of value to the wider community. I hope I am doing this through my unexpected call to ordained ministry within the Uniting Church. I feel more fulfilled than I could have imagined - this combined role of minister / poet / storyteller suits me; my ecclectic gifts, my understanding and love for people, my introspective bent, my ability with words and passion for story, and my preference for rhythm over set patterns in daily living.

it causes me great sorrow to think of my fortune at having found my place, knowing that there are so many in disadvantaged situations who will be considered fortunate merely to survive each day in the face of famine, drought, war and illness, let alone realise their fullest potential as human beings.

People have often heard me say that I hate money - what I really hate is that commercialism has taken over our way of life to the extent that the opportunity to shop and to sell is more important than the public holidays previous generations faught hard for so that families could spend valuable time together. I hate that love has been commercialised with Valentines Day and Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day; I hate that two central festivals for the Christian community have become opportunities for making and spending money more than they are opportunities to encounter the Sacred.

What I really hate about all that is that opportunities to make money cause blindness - we see dollar signs before we see human faces, and we are all complicit in this exploitation of other humans and think it's ok because we're saving a few dollars here or there. And we see this attitude with regard to creation, too, when we get incensed at the suggestion that we might have to pay more for energy as a result of attempts to encourage us to use the earth's resources more wisely and appropriately.

We have a privileged place in creation with God - with it comes responsibilities to care for creation. We have failed to do this. It diminishes our humanity to do so. When we fail to see creation, we cause harm. When we fail to see each other as fellow human beings, we cause harm. We can only perpetrate genocide when we fail to see the other's humanity. We can only sling anti-gay diatribes around from soap-boxes when we dehumanise those of other sexual orientation.

I have a bee in a bonnet about our propensity to fail to see the value in the other, in other humans, in creation. And it makes me so angry I cannot actually construct a reasonable reasoned argument. I can only name what I do not like as a lament, and hope that we might learn again to see, and thus to love with lovingkindness that honours God and each other.

No comments: