Last week we worked with the story of Buddha and the Mustard seed. In this story a child dies and the mother searches everywhere for a mustard seed from a house that has known no sadness, loss or death in order to heal her child.
There were e-mails from teachers before Sunday, grappling with how they would tell this story. It puts us adults on the edge of our comfort to talk about death, especially with our children. I wonder how it went in your class? I wonder if you had children who said they had been sad at the beginning of the story, but when the mother came looking for a mustard seed, renounced their sadness. “Here is a seed that can help”, they said. Oh how we all long to have a magic seed to ease another’s grieving and yet, the medicine is in the relationship, in the eyes of one who loves us and can walk with us in our pain without trying to fix the un-fixable. My son recently went through Chalice Lighter training and we spoke about things that are beautiful and dangerous. Church is a place where we hold the tension of these two things, brought together in our flaming chalice. Whether that be the light of truth which can lead us into both beauty and danger, or the warmth of love which heals us and puts us at great risk of loss, we are here in this community to hold both. Spirituality is the meaning of our life, what brings us alive, draws us toward love and it’s what we do with pain of the many large and small deaths that come as an inevitable part of living, learning and growing. Thank you for entering into risk, to speak of death and community to our small children, to teach them that we can and will walk with one another through all that is beautiful and dangerous. This relationship is the medicine we all need to truly live into love.