A response to the General Session in St. Louis

I am searching my soul for how we have wounded ourselves again in the name of our religion.  I am searching my soul for a place to re-anchor my hopes.  I am searching my soul for a place of refuge from the storm that has just happened in a ‘church of God’ and I see another storm fast approaching.  Here author Frederick Buechner in his book “The Hungering Dark” reminds us that even in this we are not alone, we are never alone.  Perhaps there is still a bridge to built, having dashed the one offered into splintered pieces.

“The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No [person] is an island.

But there is another truth, the sister of this one, and it is that every [person] is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he [or she] does, [they] may sound life a fool.

…..The paradox is that part of what binds us closest together as human beings and makes it true that no [person] is an island is the knowledge that in another way every man is an island. Because to know this is to know that not only deep in you is there a self that longs about all to be known and accepted, but that there is also such a self in me, in everyone else the world over. So when we meet as strangers, when even friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than more of the time we dare to admit.

Island calls to island across the silence, and once, in trust, the real words come, a bridge is built and love is done –not sentimental, emotional love, but love that is pontifex, bridge-builder. Love that speak the holy and healing word which is: God be with you, stranger who are no stranger. I wish you well. The islands become an archipelago, a continent, become a kingdom whose name is the Kingdom of God.”

― Frederick Buechner, The Hungering Dark

 

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