Well, time for another Simeon/fence story. I have been able to train Simeon to come out the front door of the house, down the steps, and go directly up the driveway into backyard. I have even been able to get to the point where I do not even get off the front porch myself, I just step out and say, “Go!” and away he goes to his backyard playground.
That being said, there has been a couple of times when TruDee has let him out that he went directly across the barrier to the front yard with not even a flinch of recognition he has crossed the boundary. And just the other day he had gone to the backyard and was coming back and saw the neighbor dogs were out and ran fun throttle through the boundary without so much as a hesitation. He was not going there to cause any trouble, as I have said in the past every sentient being exists for the sole purpose of playing with Simeon; he simply cannot imagine any other purpose for their existence. He does not understand the boundaries we have tried to set are for his own safety and our sanity. Obviously my work is not done.
There are times in my journey of life and faith I resemble my dog. I know where the boundaries are, I know the rules and laws that exist to keep me safe and try to honor them when I know they are there for that purpose. But then sometimes I feel the need to break free, if the boundary and wall is unjust or antiquated and challenging the existence of the boundary is not only necessary but the right thing to do.
These kinds of laws, rules, doctrines, and boundaries exist not only in our society and culture with our legal system but within the church as well. In our society and church today we have laws and boundaries that are unjust and I believe need to be addressed, challenged, and sometimes even broken. Civil rights around same gender marriage, or women’s rights regarding reproductive health and equal pay for equal work, access to adequate healthcare for everyone, environmental care, sustainable energy, poverty, immigration, and collective bargaining, suffice to say the list is long and arduous.
I am reminded of Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.” I believe that applies not only to the laws of the land but the laws of the church. And it takes perspicacity to weigh the cost of the decision to challenge and which ones are worthy of the “battle” so to speak or the consequence of the action. There are times when approaching the edge needs to be done with great caution and care. There are times when approaching the edge one simply needs to breakaway knowing we are going not only where the Spirit leads, but where the Spirit is already present.
I suspect with all the training and years to come Simeon will continue to push the limits of the rules and limits I try to place upon him, rarely comfortable in the status quo. May I always be attuned to his willingness to push the limit, and may I learn something from his willingness to keep it ever before him. I am so grateful to be a part of a community of faith that is willing to examine the status quo and speak to and challenge injustice in whatever forms they present themselves. And I encourage us to do even more, speak even more, stand even more as we continue to be Wise in the Ways of the Spirit, Bold in the Ways of Justice, and Graceful in Relationship with All Creation!
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. Not Your Ordinary Church.
Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.