The Waystead is a Hermitage of the Lindisfarne Community, established with the intent to foster the love of God in the world. My resolve is to follow the Way of the One in Whom we live and move and have our Being.
I trust that by thoughtfully founding, and steadfastly keeping, a dwelling place and setting it apart as a place of prayer, reflection, and contemplation, I will be able to hold onto that resolve.
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Set to “The Silent
Dove in the Distance”.
9 (8) You have kept count of my wanderings;
store my tears in your water-skin —
aren’t they already recorded in your book?
Distracted by the superscription— musing over what a tune
called “The Silent Dove in the Distance” might sound like.
8 Then Aharon is to cast lots for the two
goats, one lot for Adonai and
the other for ‘Az’azel. 9 Aharon is to present the goat
whose lot fell to Adonai and
offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat whose lot
fell to ‘Az’azel is to be presented alive to Adonai to be used for making atonement over it by sending it
away into the desert for ‘Az’azel.
Why two goats— one that lets us kill our sins, and one that
lets us send our sins away into the wilderness? I don’t think there are two
kinds of sins, though. I think that there are two methods of sinning or two means
by which we sin: one in which our most apt response to sin would be that of
sacrifice; of surrender; of severing, and one in which our most apt response
would be that of flight; of leave-taking; of banishment.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
15…. we who remain alive when the Lord comes
will certainly not take precedence over those who have died.
I don’t like the linear timeline that results in the kind of
concept often jokingly referred to as “Pie in the Sky By-and-By”. On the other
hand……. as I bounced sideways off of this reading, in a paraphrastic but useful
way I hope, I tried this: “What remains
alive when the Lord comes will not take precedence over what has died.” I
can hear old man Zen clearing his throat over there in the corner, right about
now. There’s a Zen koan about that, you know: ”Dead or Alive? — I won’t say; I won’t say!”
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 (Matthew 6:1-18)
(I always read the omitted verses whenever the reading has
been redacted by the anonymous editors of the Lectionary….)
3 But you, when you do tzedakah, don’t even let your left hand know what your right
hand is doing. 4 Then your tzedakah will be in secret; and your Father, who sees what you
do in secret, will reward you.
(7 “And when you pray, don’t babble on and on
like the pagans, who think God will hear them better if they talk a lot. 8 Don’t
be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 You,
therefore, pray like this:)
“Maimonides says that, while the second highest form of tzedakah is to give donations
anonymously to unknown recipients, the highest form is to give a gift, loan, or
partnership that will result in the recipient supporting himself instead of
living upon others.” (Quote from Wikipedia article on tzedakah.)
It helps me to imagine that all of my efforts over the past
two and a half years have been the highest form of tzedakah. Whether or not I
understand what’s going on; regardless of how much misery I’m in at the present
moment; I know for certain that my intentions have always been clear— to hold a
space for my friend to find her own freedom and autonomy without any need to co-opt
or appropriate my ideas and choices in place of her own. If I think of my task
as that of being the guardian and custodian of a clear space; a space empty of all
expectations, entanglements, assumptions and dependencies, then I can see how
the present state of affairs came about.
If someone has exhausted every means available of creating and
maintaining a co-dependent, entangled relationship, and this person suddenly realizes
that this is what they have been attempting to do— well, then, I can see how
that person might make every effort to sever all connection with the person who
has been the target of all those attempts at enmeshment.
I can see how imperative the need for separation might be in
such circumstances, and how impossible it would be for the person engaged in such
a strenuous process of individuation to make any effort to consider the other
person’s feelings. I can also understand how it might feel as if it’s necessary
to refuse to interact with, or even speak to the other person.
Of course, I know that this understanding of what is happening
might be entirely off-base, but I can’t see any harm in proceeding as if it
were true. It helps me keep my balance, and it opens a channel for compassion…not
just for her, but for myself. It allows good-will to unfold in that same empty
Lectionaries are funny things— weird, abstruse little lists
of biblical passages by number, sort of like tide tables or bus schedules. Today’s
Lectionary passages (for 3-9-2018, the week of the third Sunday in Lent) are:
Psalm 88; Genesis 47:1-26; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; and Mark 6:47-56 About a month ago I posted a reflection in response to
Abbess Jane’s Lectionary Musings blog on the same passage from Corinthians as the
one listed for today in the Daily Office Readings Lectionary (BCP). That was
supposed to be the reading for the 6th Sunday of Epiphany, according
to +Jane, but I just can’t find it anywhere. I looked up Epiphany 6 in both the
Daily Office Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary—not there. It’s not
the reading from the Lindisfarne Community’s A Way of Living Lectionary for
either Year 1 or 2 either. Oh well. I was never the sort of autist who is fascinated by such
things as bus schedules. I am much more inclined to be enthralled by maps. I
wonder if I could make a L…
On Sunday the Psalm was the famous 23rd.
I’ve heard it so many times that I never expected anything new to come
wandering across the border from that hinterland, but there ya go. So, the
liminal phrase is this: “Your rod and your staff they comfort me,” or as
the CJB says, “your rod and staff reassure me.” I got to thinking, “Well, just exactly how does a shepherd
use a staff and a rod?” The staff is used to guide the sheep and to catch them.
Traditional staffs used in the UK have horn crooks with a sharp curled tip,
which I suspect is designed to catch in the fleece. The rod was essentially a
club used to defend against predators, but also as a goad to correct the sheep.
I’ve never really identified with the sheep; I mean they are
really not very smart and don’t have much of a survival instinct. I also have
misgivings about identifying myself as the shepherd of the sheep. So, I asked
myself, “What other role might I fill in the whole sheep-shepherd metaphor?”
and it came to me: Shee…
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 4 Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, 5 not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered,
and it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not gloat over other people’s sins
but takes its delight in the truth. 7 Love always bears up, always trusts,
always hopes, always endures.
I’ve read this over about five times now, and it keeps on
growing in my mind. The above is only a part of the verse cited, but it’s the
part that kept reaching out and poking me. It’s the part that I felt was
reading me; the part that was peering
into my heart to see what is going on in there. It’s the part that sat down in
front of me with a questioning look on its face, put its chin in its hand, and
looked at me without saying anything. And kept on looking. Eventually I started noticing specific things; I started trying
to see what the verse was looking at in me. I noticed that it started out by
talking about what love is; then what it isn’t; then back …