Sunday, February 08, 2009

What if ...


This week I was trying to remember what I preached about three years ago back in February of 2006 ... mid-way through the Childrens' Time this morning I realized WHY I had no recollection of preaching three year ago in 2006 ...

The second Sunday in February of 2006 fell on February 12th ... and that day began for me in the darkness before 6am when Bob Mummery, then editor of the Minnedosa Tribune phone me and told me the Church was on fire ...

That day ended 18 hours later standing on Main Street at midnight looking at the gaping hole that had 24 hour earlier been a magnificent Century old building of worship and community ... The spiral that began that morning continues ... and sadly the powers that be have pronounced everything to be healthy and "fine." Yet, the vacant lot remains ... and resolution remains elusive ... but, for the community leaders in Minnedosa, they attained their goal of running me out of town and returning to the status quo ...

And oh, what a lovely status quo it is ... the skeletons that are falling out of the closet would make any day-time soap opera fan blush ... the sniping from the leadership of the community and the church leaves me scratching my head in bewilderment - if the comments they offer to me are reflective of the care, compassion and understanding they offer to others, we are well and truly screwed ... and a community remains broken and grieving while the elite few pat themselves on the back and offer high-fives for their "accomplishments" and their "faithfulness" while no one dares to name the reality that continues to unfold ...

I wonder how differently things could have turned out if boundaries had been properly observed, if backbones had been grown and instead of taking the easy route of casting out the troublesome outsider, the leadership from the Greater Church had taken seriously the call to action likened to the upcoming lectionary reading that had people carrying the paralytic man over their heads and lowering him to the feet of Jesus, and had responded in faith with justice as the goal rather than expedience and political necessity ...

We will never know ... the journey over the last three years has been on of loss upon loss, and when I speak of my experiences I'm accused of whining, bitching, not letting it go ... and countless other compassion and understanding accusations (curiously - most of which are misspelled !! - WHAT does THAT tell us about the anonymous commenters ??).

Looking back, I can't help but marvel at the goal of the three who set and started the fire - their perverse goal was lash out at the Church and hurt it ... in the days after the fire we took pride in the fact that they hadn't "hurt" the Church, they had only burned down a building ... sadly, the leadership - both lay and clergy that rushed in to help succeeded where the three arsonists failed ...

One day perhaps they will see ... and one day the healing can finally begin for more than just the chosen few who have imposed their will upon everyone else ...

4 comments:

indigo said...

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090209/world/international_us_australia_fires

Unonymous said...

What if you just got on with your life?

shawn said...

Thanks for the link Indigo ... the fires in Australia simply defy the imagination ... horrible doesn't even to begin to describe what those folks are experiencing ...

obviously Unonymous is exhibiting thier bounty of care and compassion with thier kind comment ... Guess we know what their message to the folks in Australia would be ...

The funny thing for me is that the anonymous comments lately (particularly those I haven't posted, but instead deleted) exhibit CLEARLY why after three years things remain un-resolved. I don't want an apology - what I want is my reputation restored, and acknowledgement from the United Church, both locally and the greater Church that an injustice has been done ... it's clear to MANY, yet silence and intimidation remain.

So much for a caring, inclusive church that values Justice ...

Anonymous said...

I don't have a blog or account, so I guess my comments will be categorized as anonymous; however, I will sign my name to it.

Shawn, I came across your blog quite some time ago, and have followed it since. I in no way, shape or form wish to diminish anything that you have been through, had to deal with or the ways you've been treated. Having said that though, I don't believe that all commenters are trying to be ignorant or insensitive by implying that perhaps you need to move on.

When looking back on your blog, there were numerous times you cited Tolle, the pain body, and how his teachings were profoundly changing your world. But, I think you have an easier time quoting his words than actually applyinng them or living them... and that is not an insult by any means.

You are Ekido, in Carrying the Past, in the Pain body chapters. If you'll indulge me, let me quote a few lines from this that you need to hear..
"The past lives in you as memories, but memories themselves are not a problem..." "It is only when memories, that is to say, thoughts about the past, take you over completely that they turn into burden, turn problematic, and become part of your sense of self.."

"We can learn not to keep situations or events alive in our minds, but to return our attention continuously to the pristine, timeless present moment rather than be caught up in mental movie-making. Our very Presence then becomes our identity, rather than our thoughts and emotions. Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?"
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Thanks for indulging me. If you don't learn to move on and stop carrying the past; I fear you will live and die a very cold, bitter man, who will be remembered for all that consumed you for far too long, instead of the person you truly are and what you were capable of. Everywhere there are tragedies and injustice occuring every minute of every day, too many of them far, far worse than anything you've encountered in your life, and there are no apologies or accountabilities for those either. Please find perspective and a form a peace. You owe that to yourself, to your children and loved ones.

Catherine Bradshaw