Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Midweek Musing. Finding the way, together, as always.

In recent weeks – months even – I have been exploring my options for enabling my final year of the PhD program here in Edinburgh to go ahead.
I have not done so alone.



The Spirit has been present, as always, and I've remembered to lean on her more rather than trying to stand on my own.
Friends, mentors, family, colleagues have drawn close. Hugs of loving-kindness. Messages of encouragement, understanding, affirmation. Conversations, listening ears, differing perspectives to help clarify my own thoughts. 
Financial support. You know who you are. Slipping a cheque into the post, or a note into my hand (or the hand of my parents), transferring money to my account, signing up to become a patron. When it comes time to write the acknowledgements in the thesis, I will not even attempt to name all the donors, for very real fear of missing someone out; not to mention that the list would take a page or more, as it steadily, graciously grows. 
I have done very little of this PhD alone. Exploring the mutual relationships of care that Paul encourages in Christ-followers in the letter to Rome, this is fitting. I'm not always certain what each individual who gives gifts like those I've mentioned receives from me by way of mutual care. However, I know that as I tell my story, it evokes a sharing of stories from you with me, and I am glad to receive them and hold you and your stories safe, in loving-kindness. 
Beyond that I engage do in this research – as I engage in the storytelling, poetry, presiding in gathered communities – for us all together. Since we are considering the PhD in particular, the enthusiastic response I receive for this project wherever I meet people and tell them about it is an indication that it is a good time to be exploring embodied engagement with our Sacred Story. People are anticipating the outcomes of this research, looking forward to the potential it holds for enriching our communities of faith and scholarship, wide-eyed with excitement that these questions are being asked. 

I have been exploring – we have been exploring – and we have found a way, together, as we have all along, friends, community, family. I will stay in Edinburgh; I will stay in the accommodation that has been just right for my needs; I will finish the PhD.

And although the total amount required is not quite covered; although questions remain unanswered, resolutions undiscovered, for my precarious health; still, I know I will be OK. 

Thank you, all of you. We truly are only fully human with each other.


If you believe in the work I am doing, and can help with the remaining shortfall, 
please consider becoming a patron


2 comments:

Heather said...

Sarah! It is so good to hear this. Onwards and upwards. :-)

Annette Buckley said...

There's something really lovely about he incarnation of the story in the community that surrounds you. It's almost too lovely to put into words, but you are doing it with grace and beauty. Thank you! xo