9.19.2010

With civility.


I'm in DC visiting my siblings. This morning while Kate went for a run, I got up and went to church. I haven't written much about religion on this blog. It's a slippery topic. I love the way Elizabeth Gilbert puts it in Eat, Pray, Love:

"GOD… I pause here for a moment to explain exactly what I mean when I say that word, just so people can decide right away how offended they need to get."

Ha. So true.

I joined a Unitarian Universalist church earlier this year and I like going from time to time. I like being part of a large group of people singing, I like hearing someone speak thoughtfully about a topic (this morning, the sermon was inspired by Yom Kippur and focused on how we're all works in progress). I like being in a roomful of people who are friendly and who let me sit alone or welcome me into conversations if I'm in the mood. In case you're wondering, Unitarians believe one common thing: that there's SOMETHING out there. Call it God, call it Star Wars, call it Mother Earth. But there's something a little bit bigger than a human being and our place in the universe is worth discussing. That's my take, anyway.

This morning I enjoyed being anonymous here in DC, soaking in the vibes of the congregation. The minister's father-in-law passed away this week after being diagnosed with cancer only 3 weeks ago. He was visibly shaken and read an Alice Walker poem at the beginning of his sermon. It was beautiful and haunting and I wanted to share it with you all here:

"Good Night, Willie Lee, I'll See You In The Morning"
Alice Walker


Looking down into my father's
dead face
for the last time
my mother said without
tears, without smiles
but with civility
"Good night, Willie Lee, I'll see you
in the morning."
And it was then I knew that the healing
of all our wounds
is forgiveness
that permits a promise
of our return
at the end.

So beautiful, especially the civility in italics.

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