live peaceably with all…

November 9, 2004

i was so down after the elections. all i could think was “how could this happen?”. it all came down to “moral values”. like war and preventing 2 people who love each other from marrying is moral? i know it sounds melodramatic but i was so sad that so many are against gay marriage. i just don’t get it. it felt almost surreal like i’m in a time warp, like 1950. i pray my children in 20 years are horrified by the thought that we as a people were against basic civil liberties the same way we can’t possibly understand the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s for black americans. i’m just afraid we won’t progress far enough by then. i am just saddened by it all. when will we all finally be accepted?

i must admit that i carry lots of issues about the religious right and the president, i tend to be a little harsh at times. i came from the religious right so i know i am much more free with my judgment on that particular group. then jorge and i had that difficult discussion, the one that exposed our different value systems. the can of worms was opened, and i can’t really go back. it’s hard when you face some real differences with someone you love deeply. the kind you know deep in your heart are there but you choose to not directly acknowledge because this love is messy. it requires your love to dig deeper and be stretched in a painful way. honesty is hard.

in the middle of all of this the zine was finally done. it was hard for me to celebrate, i just kept thinking, “how is this little zine going to change the world, it’s just a silly little thing about christmas.” i was really down…

jorge left for a business trip on thursday, we said goodbye but there was still so much angst

in my heart. i completely forgot about the taize service at church. i was asked to read scripture like a month ago. i was shuffling through the papers piled on my counter trying to find the information. we were late as usual, i had to drop the boys off before i went so i never even looked at the scripture until i got there. i entered the tiny chapel only lit with what felt like hundreds of candles, the church was built in 1852. it felt like holy ground, like a place where so many have laid their burdens. there was a call to worship and then a very meditative song and then i read. i started to read and said a little prayer i wouldn’t cry.

“Let your love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold on to what is good.

Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.

Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Live in peace with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.

Don’t be proud.

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

there were more songs, more scripture. the next scripture was about justice and more peace. i felt the undoing of my soul. i was being called to love the people who i really don’t want to. the people i want to reject, the people who i think are so wrong. and then i started thinking about my job. i always feel so displaced, so proud. these aren’t “my people”, this is just my job.

what if they are? what if this is my call? part of me has been so rejecting of the idea because i have been seeking permanence. after talking with my mom, i realized maybe this is one stop on my journey. it is a journey afterall…don’t we get stuck when we aren’t willing to keep moving, keep learning, keep growing? i have hated church and all it represents for so many, i thought i left that place for good but i once again find myself in that little chapel with the candles, weeping, realizing i am being called to place my burdens and embrace these people and this place, if only for awhile. but it isn’t just the church, it’s my country. how can we change minds and hearts if we don’t love? i don’t know how exactly to even begin. i guess it is baby steps, and so far as it depends on me, living peaceably with all..

a brief history of taize

taize refers to an ecumenical community begun by brother roger in 1940 in a semi-abandoned village in burgandy, france. today tens of thousands of people visit the community each year to spend a week going to the roots of the christian faith. their worship is extremely calm, peaceful, meditative combination of prayer, silence, scripture reading and repetitive chant-like songs.

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