Interdependent Web: Human together, making mistakes, no quick fixes

Interdependent Web: Human together, making mistakes, no quick fixes

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


A way with words

For the Rev. Karen Hering, words are like stones.

They weigh down the basket quickly when collected. One needs to put them down periodically and leave them behind. It is too much to carry them all with you.

Stack them up along the roadside. They serve as memorials to what we’ve lost. Markers of where we’ve been. Tributes to beauty we have witnessed. Signposts to travelers yet to come. (Karen Hering, August 19)

Alex Kapitan writes that “through language we transform reality.”

To me, this creates an enormous responsibility to use language to describe and create the best, most radical reality we can imagine—a world free from violence in all its forms; a world where all life, all identities and experiences, and all ways of making meaning are understood as valuable and sacred.

Language can hurt or heal; it can cause harm or create liberation—the choice is ours. (Radical Copyediting, August 17)

The Rev. Ken Collier explains why it matters to him that his public writing finds an audience.

When I write for publication. I want to open a conversation. Now, the word “conversation” is very interesting. It comes from a Proto-Indo-European root that means “to turn toward”. When we are in conversation, genuine conversation, we must turn toward one another. This turning is not simply a turning of our bodies. It is a turning of ourselves, of our whole selves, toward one another. True conversation is about the speech of one heart with another. (The Colliery, August 22)

Making mistakes

The Rev. Sam Trumbore wrestles with the reality of human failure—whether we call it sin, brokenness, or delusion.

The great possibility for humanity is our capacity to think and our capacity to feel love and connection. Evolution has given us enormous cognitive powers, but we’ve held on to some rather fearsome powers from the past for lust and violence. . . . Time will tell if we can find that balance before we destroy each other and the planet. (Rev. Sam Trumbore, August 19)

The Rev. Amy Shaw makes space for acknowledging wrongdoing—and moving on.

Even when you have made that mistake, even when you have surrendered your judgement to sin or wrongdoing, you cannot, must not, stand in the void.

You are not lost. All that you have done before, and all that you will still do, are not made void because of an evil whisper telling you that you do not matter.

Grieve for what you did. Ask the source of joy, the Spirit of Life and Love, the Universe, to remove that fishhook from your mind, and that weight from your heart.

Be ashamed that you fell from the path of life and healing, walk humbly with the maker of your soul and confess what you have done.

And then let it go.

Put down the sin. Absolve yourself.

And rejoice again. (Facebook, August 22)

No quick fixes

Kim Hampton objects to what she calls “shallow diversity.”

Shallow diversity is not diversity at all, my friends. It’s tokenism. And no member of a marginalized community wants to be a token.

To quote my friend who told me the age-old story today, “for those who think it might be a great idea to “find a black person to preach on MLK Sunday,” but never think to diversify their list of guest preachers otherwise, we pray.”

Lord, hear our prayer. (East of Midnight, August 22)

The Rev. Meredith Garmon thinks through intersectional issues related to the Black Lives Matter movement, Palestinians, and Israel.

Consciousness of intersectionality makes it appropriate to express solidarity with other oppressed people -- this would reasonably include, but not be limited to, Palestinians. Singling out Israel, however, and accusing it of genocide, goes too far. (The Liberal Pulpit, August 18)

Human together

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein nearly cries over spilled cat food—and then remembers Italians trapped under rubble.

It's not that our petty sufferings are not allowed. They are, and being human is hard. It is more that we are always invited to be fully alive, which often opens our heart to something else than our own discomfort or unhappiness.

Be well. Be as well as you can. If you are not well, may you be held in the love of God and the prayers of others who are fortunate enough today to have some strength left over for someone else. And so we go on, and you had better believe that we are going on together. There actually isn't a choice. (Facebook, August 24)

The Rev. Jake Morrill admits, “I was made to lie down with a book, to stare out the window, not to work like a dog.”

A neat lawn will get you, the power
That comes from the impression that you eat a healthy breakfast,
Pay your bills, say your prayers, train your dog,
And tend to the grass at the edge of your crumbling walk
With the razor-like precision of a weedwhacker’s
Work, that your life bears no scar, no trace of an accident

But my own life, laid out, end to end? Seems only accident after accident,
Disorderly as the path of a sniffing dog
Wandering, yanked short on its leash, then wandering again, on a walk (Facebook, August 20)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern discovers a new anti-procrastination tactic: completing tasks in a timely manner as a gift to her future self. (Sermons in Stones, August 21)