This week we say goodbye to the ducks. Now, we can visit of course. But we say goodbye to our glass enclosed worship space. Goodbye to watching the trees breathe while an ancient psalm is sung. Goodbye to baby ducks hatched on Easter morn. Adios to the shirtless rollerbladers, the kamikaze birds smacking the window during the Conversation, the squirrels mating during our hymn.
Our culture does not say goodbye well.
Consequently, change can provoke a free-floating anxiety as it stirs up previous goodbyes that have left us raw. Often this happens below the surface so we are just left feeling out of sorts and weird, without knowing why.
Other times we race on to the next thing or place, eager to experience the new and sure that whatever dissatisfaction we have felt in one venue (or with one set of neighbors) will be replaced by only sweetness and light in the next.
Some people only feel the accumulated anxiety, while others race through transitions and hope that the feelings don’t catch up. Some people do a bit of both.
I think it is good to be honest about these tendencies. They are real and they are human. God holds us in compassion during these times as I hope we are able to hold each other.
Yet, there is an invitation embedded in times of change– to use the experience to see ever more clearly.
If we are honest with ourselves we recognize that we can’t control life even when we are in our most comfortable spaces and patterns. Bad stuff still happens; people we love get hurt or hurt us; poor health strikes us or loved ones. Change just pulls back the veil of the familiar routines which cover that inconvenient truth.
We had a beautiful time on Sunday with folks fromHumaFaith, an interfaith program with a house in Oak Cliff for people on the road to recovery. The HumaFaith residents are in transition as they leave behind addictions and foster new relationships and ways of living. Over tasty brisket, mashed potatoes, fruit and ice-cream they shared their stories—most of which contained deep suffering alongside heart-felt gratitude for HumaFaith and fresh opportunities. Many CitC folk expressed to me how they were deeply moved by the resident’s resiliency growing out of their vulnerability. In the midst of big change (or maybe because of it) these residents maintain a radical openness to acknowledging both the shadows of life as well as the beauty it can offer. In short, they modeled a non-dualist mind.
This week let us reset our goodbye patterns. No need to race through our move, nor to indulge in unnecessary anxiety. Let us instead choose to walk consciously through the change, acknowledging with open eyes what we leave behind at Kidd Springs and all the hopes we bring to the Kessler Theater.
The ducks have been really good for this community. Nature has been a balm for weary souls— many of us spend more of life than we would like at a computer screen and often feel fragmented and separated from the deep rhythms of the seasons.
Now the invitation is to trust that all that we have learned from being church in this space will travel well with us.
And the invitation is to be grateful. To take the time to tell those ducks you love ‘em. And to appreciate that a little corner of the city will always feel sacred for all the accumulated vibrations of song and story we have shared there.
The truth is that the whole city is sacred. Yet it is through the practice of sitting in community, week after week, that we have been gifted with eyes to recognize God, right there at the pond’s edge.
Join us Sunday. 11am. Kidd Springs.
Lets say goodbye well, so that we can say hello with full hearts.
Peace to you all this day,
Baquee, Huma-Faith Executive Director says thanks
May God reward you all greater than the good intended towards us (Huma-Faith). We had a wonderful experience yesterday. Our residents were truly touched in a most positive way. I believe the parable of the Leaven is realized, as the spirits of our residents did rise. Again, I was shocked at their openness–revealing themselves, Wow! You all have helped me to realize that Huma-Faith is guided by That or Whom is Greater than what our minds conceive. Peace & Blessings!!!