Saturday, December 1, 2012
There is so much sadness in the world right now. Just when we hope it is safe to plan for the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, well any holiday (HOLY DAY) really, sadness comes upon us in so many different forms. A beloved family member is diagnosed with cancer. An old school friend's child dies unexpectedly. A contemporary is in a terrible accident and leaves your friend a widow. A grown child without health insurance becomes ill or needs surgery. A grandchild is in crisis.
Sadness doesn't stop at holidays because it never stops at anything or for any time. Sad events come when they come and evoke the response they evoke. Cancer makes people we love sick and sometimes kills them. People drive well but make a single mistake and have an accident. People struggle. We are sad.
I am writing throughout this Advent for any number of reasons. One is that I am sad, too, but sadness isn't the whole story and it doesn't win. If you have ever read a very sad story and irrationally hoped for a happy ending, then you know this sadness. I want it not to win in your life, either.
Another reason I write is to rest during the busy-ness of planning for Christmas, which is a holiday, a HOLY DAY, for me as a Christian. When I say "rest", what I mean is the deep soul-rest that people of faith (any faith-pick your favorite flavor) need in order to connect with the source of divine love they believe in. It is that divinity, that wellspring that allows us victory when the world tries to convince us that it has no meaning.
It is when our soul taps into divine love that refreshment and joy replace the sadness of the world, but let no one tell you it's easy. It isn't. It's a journey. Journeys are sometimes hard.
I am approaching these writings from the standpoint of Reformed Christianity seasoned with a little ancient spiritual practice, some monasticism, and a little bit of Eastern religion as well. I am culturally a Southern Californian living in Northern California by way of Salt Lake City. I am not a Biblical literalist although I do take the Bible seriously and I will be using daily Bible readings in these writings.
I hope that even if you are not a practicing Christian, you will consider sharing these writings with me when you can. There is wisdom in all scripture, and something to be gained by doing the daily practices I'll suggest. I will also share visual art as we go, which I hope you will enjoy.