Something in my last post that is absolutely true is that I want to write about something not awful. The darkness in the world has been a reason why the previous iteration of this blog remained kind of active over the past three years, but only writing to respond to travesty is soul-killing for me. Cathartic, but soul-killing.
So I decided I’m going to write something happy.
Last night we had a delicious meal: butter-fried steak, roasted tomatoes, sauteed bell peppers, blanched and cooked green beans. It was heavenly.
All of the major ingredients came from the hands of someone whom loves us. The steak came from a couple of parishioners who are responsible for us not buying ground beef for the past three years. The beans and tomatoes came from the generous excess of another parishioner who loves being able to give away the excess from her garden. The bell peppers came from our pots, and I think it is important to love myself.
At Bible study last night there were four pints of grape tomatoes, a pound or two of green beans, and a dozen eggs to share because of the excess of the loving work of the gardeners – and Marv’s chickens – and God’s creation.
And it is freely and joyfully given. We have offered – many times – to pay for the eggs, and the offer is always declined. By the end of the summer anyone who wants to can tomatoes, beans, beets, or really any food has ample produce to do it.
There is something absolutely wonderful this level of generosity. I haven’t bought sweet corn since we moved to Cascade. From the moment I moved here I have felt loved and part of a family under God.
I’ve struggled with how to respond to the darkness of the world – and I still struggle with it as I also consider how to respond to potential reactions to my words – but I have been preaching an answer for basically my entire ministerial career:
Show love to those around you.
Yes, I can tell you to not be racist and disavow those who are and publicly condemn acts of hatred, but last night, eating from the generosity of others and receiving more generosity last night, I felt more love and more welcome.
If we can live our lives like that in our small circles, and do that will all people, we will reduce the darkness in our world.
I can’t fix the racism of our nation, I can’t heal the deep wounds that it has caused, but I can show love to all.
Show love to all.