Midweek Musings: April 27, 2023

Dear Friend,

Every Tuesday morning I help with the car line at my kids’ school. I open car doors and help kids get out, making sure to remember their backpacks and water bottles, lunchboxes and projects. Some kids hop out all on their own and all but run toward the door, eager to learn (or at least see their friends). Other kids require more coaxing, an extra minute to gather their things, to say one more goodbye, to summon the energy or the courage or the fortitude to transition from car to school, from family to friends, from daydreaming to learning.

This week, it had rained earlier in the morning and there were small puddles in the parking lot. For some kids, the puddles were obstacles to be avoided, particularly those in pretty shoes or mesh trainers who knew that a puddle would mean wet feet for the rest of the day. But for others, those with boots or cavalier attitudes toward foot moisture, the puddles were an opportunity.

For one little girl in particular, the puddles were how we got out of the car and into the building. First, by taking one long step over the big puddle right beneath our car door, but then by jumping in every little puddle along the way. And when we finally got to the door, it was only the possibility that perhaps our friends’ wet shoes had made a puddle in the hallway that got us up the stairs and through that final door.

I wonder, what helps you get where you need to be? What are the little rituals, the moments of delight, the opportunities for imagination that help you transition from one moment to the next, from one place to another, from one season to the next?

Something to ponder,
Pastor Sarah

something Worth reading

How To Sit in a Chair and Drink Tea

by David Cain

Here is a lovely meditative piece about the (potential) spiritual practice of making a cup of tea and sitting down to drink it. It’s not a long read and it includes this delightful quote:

“Don’t rush here. A boiling kettle is not a crisis. To make sure you’re not reacting, watch it exhale steam for a few seconds. Observe how the world stays together. Let your pulse return to normal, then take it off.”

Read the full article here.

something worth hearing

In Christ We Live

Performed by Elnora Bible Institute Choir, Lyle Stutzman
Written by Graham Maule, John Bell

This buoyant Easter song is a two-part song written by John Bell of the Iona Community and sung by the Elnora Bible Institute Choir in Indiana. It’s short, but lovely and I hope you like it.

something worth watching

Jon Batiste on PBS Newshour

This is a really interesting interview with Jon Batiste, who received the most nominations of any artist at the recent Grammys, capturing a total of 11 in all in a wide variety of categories. The interview talks about his music, particularly the ways in which he breaks categories, but it also talks about the reality of community in a world that is often reported to be irreperably divided.

something worth praying

Questions About Angels

Billy Collins

Of all the questions you might want to ask
about angels, the only one you ever hear
is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

Do they fly through God’s body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from the hinges
of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colors?

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
their diet of unfiltered divine light?
What goes on inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall
these tall presences can look over and see hell?

If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole
in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
filled with the silent letters of every angelic word?

If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive
in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume
the appearance of the regular mailman and
whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

No, the medieval theologians control the court.
The only question you ever hear is about
the little dance floor on the head of a pin
where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

It is designed to make us think in millions,
billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:
one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
a small jazz combo working in the background.

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
to glance at his watch because she has been dancing
forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

Billy Collins, “Questions About Angels” from Questions about Angels. Copyright © 1991 by Billy Collins. 

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