Friday, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to move the furniture around in the living room. I pushed the dining table over against the wall with its chairs and then pulled the recliner through that area into the kitchen. Next came the end tables stowed neatly under the edge of the table between the chairs and finally the overstuffed chair and ottoman in the remaining space just off the carpet of the living room on to the laminate of the dining space.
I started vacuuming and of course in the middle of my project Simeon decided he needed to go outside. I swear when I am home for the day that dog is always on the wrong side of the door. And of course if Simeon wants to do something, his little brother Mozart has to be right in the middle of it as well.
Simeon had managed to find an opening path in through the kitchen, behind the recliner, around a dining room chair, and to the door. I squeezed through the same space and prepared to let the Boys out. Moz, stood at the entry to the dining area puzzling how to get around the overstuffed chair, which held zero possibility of his passing. I called to him from the other door into the kitchen, he came, looked at me, and returned to the impossible passage. I sent Simeon back into the living room to where Moz was and called him and he came through the narrow passage again to the door. Of course Moz followed him, to the kitchen doorway and then returned to the impossible passage. This went on two or three time before I finally gave up and moved the chair so he could come in the only way he could figure out. “Not the sharpest Shar Pei in the pen,” I thought to myself.
We are all confronted with situations, circumstances, puzzles, spaces, and places where it can feel like we just don’t fit. Based on many of my conversations and encounters I meet a lot of people who feel that was about church. Church just doesn’t speak to them anymore. Church can be so hypocritical. Church uses language and symbol that is no longer meaningful in our time and place. There are a lot of comments I encounter along the way.
Listening, moving, adjusting, creating ways where there did not seem to be a way, or finding a place that is at least open to change and difference is, I believe, one of the tasks of the church. We are called to be an open place, an open community that not only provides safe and sacred space to be just who you are but also one that lives in the community and city around it, listening and finding ways to be even more open, welcoming, inviting, and involved in the world around us and to create other paths and ways for all of us to encounter to Divine wherever we are and to Find A Place at CHUM when a struggle to fit has been a part of one’s journey.
I am sure Moz will keep learning with Simeon’s help and ours as well, but even more importantly is our ability to create an environment where we are all learning to find and provide a better way along the journey that fits the needs of fellow travelers.
It is one of the many ways we seek to be mindful of the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the community. 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.
Peace and Light on Your Journey,