Saturday, December 09, 2006

Prophecy and discernment

It’s been a busy week. Above is a photograph I took of my bishop, Marc Andrus, on Thursday. I went with a friend from St. Aidan’s to a Eucharist in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco, in remembrance of all who have died in Iraq. About 200 of us processed down the hill from Grace Cathedral. My priest was there, as were a handful of other CDSP students, and my faculty advisor. It was very clearly a Christian service, with some nice interfaith touches. We sang, prayed, heard some of the Beautiful Names for God (read in English, not Arabic) and listened as names of the dead were read to us. Bishop Marc preached a five-minute sermon on the theme that no one dies apart from God. He celebrated the Eucharist, and quietly slipped toward the entrance of the Federal Building, where he and 12 others took part in a die-in. They were arrested for doing so. I am proud of my church, my bishop, and all those who were arrested with him. I don’t see it as a political statement; I see it as focusing awareness of the presence of God in a place that needs healing. I don’t want to be a bishop, but this is a piece of the kind of work I want to do.

I chose not to be arrested, because I’m still in school, don’t have a job, and am a little leery of law enforcement since I was caught in a pepper-spray incident at a protest in Olympia in March 2003. But they handled it really well, here; it was all done with order and respect. If I don’t have to fear for my lungs (I have asthma), I can think about sticking my neck out some.

I’m going to be sticking my neck out in other ways, which excites me tremendously. I met with my rector on Wednesday, and was sent along to the Vocations Committee at my parish. I haven’t gotten to speak with the coordinator yet, so I don’t know exactly what the next steps are. After we’ve spoken, I’ll share what I can; what this means is that I’m moving from being a member of my parish with clear intentions, to being actively and officially in the discernment process.

I feel so affirmed, and so deeply, completely ready. I could have initiated the conversation that led to this months ago, but was flirting back and forth with feeling ready to do it until now. The doubts I still harbor are about my calling, not about myself. (It’s incredibly liberating, just to realize that.) I’ve been through a lot and I’ve come through a lot; I know who God is and I think I know who I am. I want to test and push and experiment. I’m ready to be challenged by a community that will be discerning with me. I want that, even. I’m not afraid of the idea of people knowing who I am, anymore.

A friend affirmed this in the car, the other night, on our way to an Advent liturgy that a group of us is doing in the East Bay. She said, “You’ve done your time. You’re ready to do a different kind of time, now.” She also said she was glad our priest had talked me into realizing that. That wasn’t my take on our conversation; it felt like we were sort of chatting about how everything was going, and I asked the question, “Now what?” We both knew what my intentions were, but I did need to be the one to say them. And I did, and I could, and I’m here. I’m both grounded, and bouncing nearly out of my skin.

This means three important things:

1) I have a spiritual home that I’m safe and happy in;
2) I’m on the right road, and people besides myself can see it;
3) I’m really ready to be open to God, my community, and my own heart.

Alleluia, amen.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Amen indeed.

(I was at the same protest, but on the other side of the street)