This Sunday I was on edge. It maybe started even before I began my day. The service left me in tears several times. It was just that kind of day. Janne preached about praying for each other, to be really for each other, not just with each other. It made me wonder about my place in church. I do pray. The formless void silent meditation kind and the kind where I put voice to my intentions. I hold your children in my prayer, for their joys and sorrows and for the inspiration and challenges they bring me. Sometimes you are in my prayers whether I know you or not, intending for your great good and the realization of your beauty and wholeness. I wondered though, who might be praying for me? And like I said, I was on edge.
The edge for me on Sunday was that feeling of separation that is illusory, but sometimes feels real. I was the only one signed up to teach and didn’t know who else might come. I had a strange interaction with my co-parent in the parish hall that made me wonder if I was missing something. I thought about the worship associate who spoke of friends and strangers helping her in a time of need and wondering why I was so hesitant to ask for that help last year when I was in need. It was because I was on the edge.
It seemed like it took me the whole day to come back from that edge. Two teachers showed up to help me practice spirit play. When I got home I journaled and came up with a list of people in our community who are praying for me, if not in a formal way, in an informal way without a doubt. A subsequent conversation with my co-parent brought us back into balance and I remembered and was grateful for all those friends and strangers who did show up and help me when I was in need. I came back home in myself; back into right relationship.
There was a gift on the edge in addition to all the gifts I found when I moved away from it. We had a wiggly class on Sunday and the children had a hard time listening to the story. They could hardly make it through the wondering questions. When I asked them, they would give me answers like, “nothing in this story was the best part”. And then other kids would parrot that answer. At one point I stopped and told the class that I was feeling sad that they weren’t participating thoughtfully and asked them to please participate with their whole selves. When the next child made the flip answer that nothing in the story was important, I looked at her and asked her again. And her eyes wavered. And she looked at the story. And she answered the question. A small bit of connection. A small meeting right at the edge.
I am grateful to be a part of our community. I am grateful to work with adults and children to explore the joys and struggles of life. I am grateful that I am a part of this whether I feel myself on the edge or not. It is wonderful to move away from that space and realize it was just something inside of me seeing separation and that the more true story is that I was totally surrounded by love and connection the whole time. This realization turns this story from separation into invitation. Who else is on the edge here at Unity? How do we reach out and remind them that we are connected and not alone? A potent question for me in this political landscape. Who is on the edge? Can we invite them into connection? What story do we want to create?