Friday, November 16, 2007

RGBP Friday Five: Think About These Things

From RevGalBlogPals:

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, NRSV)

Friends, it's nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it's the time of year when we are pressed to name things for which we are thankful. I want to offer a twist on the usual lists and use Paul's letter to the church at Philippi as a model. Name five things that are true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. These could be people, organizations, acts, ideas, works of art, pieces of music--whatever comes to mind for you.

Oh, easy-peasy. I love gratitude posts, especially when I’m feeling it enough to write them.

1) True: The friends, teachers, and others, online and face-to-face, who have helped me through this recent trouble. I’m not naming you; you know who you are. You can see the grace of what you’ve done in me. Thank you for being open, for offering your presence, for doing your own work, and knowing your limits. Thank you for loving, and for not being afraid. Thank you for feeding me dim sum, and for giving me time.

2) Honorable: What’s filling my head right now is the work that Mimi, Ray, and so many others have done to rebuild New Orleans. Gutting houses, not knowing when or if they’ll be lived in again, is a sacrifice of hope, love, grief, and sweat. I also honor all the people I met there, embracing joy, celebration, and beauty in the midst of devastation. Or simply getting out of bed in the 9th Ward every day, and doing what they had to do.

3) Just: Ultimately, the Kindom of God. I’m reading Sr. Helen Préjean for a paper I’m writing, and thinking about her work for economically poor people and against the death penalty. I’m thinking also of a quote from +Katharine, again in New Orleans, “When the saints go marching in, it’s going to be with every last one of us.” And I’m thinking of my own Bishop Marc speaking against the war in Iraq. These people, and many others, embody a vision of God’s justice that makes my soul shout.

4) Excellent: All of creation. Some online friends and I have been discussing where we’d like to live, given the choice: mountains, water, city, other. It’s making me geographically homesick; I grew up with my feet in Puget Sound and mountains all around me. The Cascades and Olympics have long given me strength. But I’m also absolutely struck by the beauty of the San Francisco Bay. The very small work I did, publicizing cleanup efforts, made me feel more connected here. I also resonate deeply with the power and vastness of the ocean. And I am absolutely and forever in love with the Bishop’s Ranch. (Thank you Paul for posting pictures!)

5) Worthy of Praise: the Holy One. For all beauty, love, transformation, connection, and existence. For all that I rejoice in, and for all that challenges me. For this holy, fragile Earth we walk on, and for the stars that show us how tiny we are. For every rock, tree, and flower, and for every living, loving, breathing thing—and for the deeply-felt privilege of participating in this cosmic relationship. For the Incarnation, for raising us up, for making us whole.

4 comments:

Sally said...

what a great list, filled with joy and life, thank you, it did me good to read it!

Mother Laura said...

What Sally said :-).

Many thanks for the prayers and comments. Some snuggling and jokes from Matt and I was back revising by last last night, got it mostly done and a decent night's sleep, now need to finish up, pack, scope the website of dream job, and hit the road in about three-four hours. Busy but possible. Phew.

Songbird said...

I not only love your list, but your writing, too! Thanks so much for playing!!

Kirstin said...

Thanks, all! Glad I could do you good. :-)