Sunday, May 4, 2014

Episode 24: Open Windows and Overheard Words...

Highs in the 80s, open windows, potted flowers....the stuff of Spring.
My soul rejoices in the sun...there is much good, great thawing that comes with the end of winter. 

But open windows are also dangerous it just depends on the sounds floating through them. 

"That's the house where the lesbians live--they've really done a great job with it; I tell you, those lesbians really know how to work..."

Why yes--we have done a great job with our house. And yes, it's true, Sarah and I are hard workers--but, strangers standing on our sidewalk, we can hear you and labelings folks, well, it's just not nice. 

"Those lesbians...."  Our names are Jamie and Sarah.  You could call us your neighbors, beloved children of God, sassy and theologically educated; you could say Reverend if you really want be to respectful; lesbians is just fine too I guess...but that's not all we are. 

We must be careful with the words we choose, the conversations we are always open somewhere, our beautiful, intensely vulnerable hearts are always there, always catching the subtle signals, the whispered words....

Open windows can be dangerous but, praise be, they can also be life-giving, startlingly simple and utterly faithful:

the woman sitting behind me in church today--as Sarah broke the bread, lifted it and spoke the words of institution this morning, this beautiful, elderly soul in the pew behind me, she murmured along.  "This is my body, broken for you..." Word for word, phrase by phrase, she whispered the invitation and as her voice mingled with Sarah's in my ears I thought--yes, this is the sound, the song, that we choose. 

And when Sarah issued the invitation, "This is God's table and all are welcome here," this woman, well into her 80s, breathed a contented sigh and said "thank God and Amen."

Sarah sits now and plays the piano, Be Thou My Vision greets the folks who dubbed us "those lesbians" as they stand on our sidewalk. 

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

We must be careful after all. There are open windows everywhere.

We choose faithful words--whispered amens and broken thank God's--we choose music and heart-felt praise. The question then, for us, for the neighbors in our yard, for every heart--what words will you speak? What song will you sing? 

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