Just Life

And | May 2020.

from this morning’s run to the lake

Last week, Sara and I resumed our Sunday morning check-in’s (7amET/noon for her). and now it’s light enough that Marc takes his walk while I talk and that means I get to run to the lake (and back) by myself after I talk to Sara. In Time Before, Marc played golf on Sundays (most days) and church commitments usually meant solo walks/runs for me. Now, seeing the lake early on a Sunday morning, a not-so-easy-as-it-used-to-be mile and a half from home … is Sabbath Time for me. I carry my phone only to take this photo. The rhythm of the run, feeling my feet hitting the pavement, and my attempts to steady the breaths free my heart for prayer.

When I posted on Thursday I promised a OLW update before the month ended. and then things caught fire. literally. the post I had planned seemed a bit tone deaf. I’ve already written about how this word seems pre-printed for dealing with a pandemic. AND I know it has lessons for these past few days. Y’all we are having to hold space for so many things. and. and. and.

and sometimes we just can’t. and sometimes it’s just too hard. and sometimes all we want to do is go up to someone we love(who is grieving) and give them a hug. and…

Still.

I got home from my run, cooled down a bit, and watched church. For Christians, today we celebrate Pentecost. We mark the beginning of the Church, where the Holy Spirit moves and miracles happen. So I’m going to save what I had planned to share, and instead share the closing words from our pastor’s sermon.

The Hebrew word for breath is Ruach. It’s the same word that the Hebrew language uses for spirit, or even wind. On Pentecost, what you and I recall is that the wind that blew over the watery chaos of creation and the breath that filled Adam’s nostrils when he came to life is the same spirit that descends from Heaven and calls God’s beloved community into being and into action. We have a dream. It is a dream of a world animated by respect, desiring dignity, equality, kindness, humility, and harmony. We dream of a beloved community, a community to which we belong and in which we see and honor one another’s difference and humanity. Ours is a God-given vision of a kingdom, a reign, a community of God come to Earth finally and fully, such that God’s beloved children have a good and a safe place to live, to be, and to breathe. Amen.

Amen.

12 Comments

  • Bonny

    I’m at a loss for what to do, especially when it seems as if we’re full up with all the worry and fear of the pandemic. But then it’s clear that the pandemic has only made clearer some of the great injustices and all of those things that have always been broken. I’ve recently started lovingkindness meditation which uses phrases that seem to resonate – may every living being be safe, may every living being be healthy, may every living being be happy, may every living being live with ease, and I’ve been adding may every living being live with peace.

  • Sarah

    Mary, I have to admit that you just brought tears to my eyes. My heart is aching so much right now for everything that is happening in our country. The pandemic and the suffering it has brought were bad enough, but to know that some of our brothers and sisters are not only disproportionately suffering from the virus but also suffering from a system that treats them less than others is absolutely heartbreaking. I feel so powerless. I can only hope that at the heart of any effort to fix what’s wrong with our society is the recognition that we are all filled with that same ruach, that spirit.

  • Debbie

    On Friday afternoon our small group (all women) had a socially distanced meeting in my backyard and it was so nice to see everyone after having zoom meetings. At the end of the meeting we talked about our sadness related to so many things, but especially the pandemic and the injustices that so many people live with everyday. We spoke of Ruach, that holy breath of God, and I had that image in my mind as we prayed for healing, wholeness, and justice in our community, our nation, and the world. I’ve had that image with me for much of the weekend and then I read it in your post and the words of your pastor’s sermon. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely thoughts in your post!

  • karen

    we had friends over last night for a socially distant get together in the back yard and it was WONDERFUL. Life felt almost normal 🙂

  • Jane

    What a beautiful post. Yes to a loving and just community filled with a holy spirit and and and . . . I am filled with a deep sadness and feeling overwhelmed.

  • Kat

    Pentecost words in many churches were so moving. My pastor had an incredible sermon, as did Emily C. Heath (you should follow her, if you do not!)

    And… these words from MLK are ringing in my head: A riot is the language of the unheard.

    Amen and amen.

  • Alexa

    Such a wonderful closing paragraph from your pastor – the words ‘breath’ and ‘breathe’ have so many layers for us now … Your new pattern seems rich in space and time for your Self. I had to smile at how that mile and a half seems harder than before – ain’t that the truth as we age, sister! :).