I remember the day well and sometimes I have to wonder if Simeon remembers it too when I get upset and speak a little harsh and he hangs his head and walks away, whether I am actually talking to him, my computer, or the television.
It happened when he was just a pup and we kept him in the back utility room of the house where we lived. He was your normal curious pup wanting to know what was what and why it was. In the back room on the counter I kept the coffee pot so as to not potentially harm the new countertop in the kitchen. I had made coffee and left the grounds in the basket and about half a pot that morning. I came home from work that day found the coffee maker on the floor, the pot broken, coffee and coffee grounds spread from one end of the room to another. I was, well, I was pretty upset.
I took Simeon over to the mess and said “No!” I then took his from paws and placed them on the countertop and said once again, “NO!!!” I pointed at his bed and said in a rather firm voice, “Go lay down!” Well, he did go to his bed with tail between his legs and head bowed low and proceeded to, well, relieve himself on his blanket. It was just a sad, pathetic, sorrowful looking event. I confess, I felt pretty bad when all was said and done.
Have you ever said something and wished you could have taken it back, or done something that in hindsight was not the “best you” in a given situation. I would suspect that many if not all of us have been in those situations; found ourselves “out of bounds,” if you will. I don’t think Jesus was even immune to the idea. I was reading a passage in the scriptures just the other day and his encounter with a woman from a different culture and found what he said to her a little out of bounds.
The next couple of weeks here at CHUM we will be looking at the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith and discovering more of who he was and how he has encouraged us to follow the Way of compassion, grace, welcome, and love even if it causes us to move beyond the boundaries of life and faith as we have always known it.
I am a little more careful now how I speak to my friend Simeon and work daily on my responses to those around me so as to not find myself “out of bounds.” I pray this week you find your words graced in kindness and working toward justice.
It is one of the many ways we seek to be faithful to the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the family. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table.
Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.