Interdependent Web: Returning to grace

Interdependent Web: Returning to grace

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


Returning to grace

Leslie Ahuvah Fails urges us not to be immobilized by climate change “disaster porn.”

Sure, there is someone who desperately needs be shaken out of their complacency and denial by reading about these ghastly possible futures—but guess what? If you find yourself awake in the middle of the night digging yourself into a Google hole tapping from article to blog post to op ed about how many children might die from malnutrition at varying degrees of possible future warming while stroking the hair of the sleeping child laying beside you, THEN THAT PERSON IS NOT YOU.

Be informed, yes, and act on what you learn. But please do not boil yourself alive in worry. (Facebook, 6.6.19)

Liz James walks through her childhood neighborhood, remembering all the people who loved and helped raise her.

If there is someone in your life—child or adult—that you are working to help but feeling like you’re not quite enough... know you aren’t enough. None of us is. If you feel like you are failing, it is because the problems at hand are bigger than you. It is not wrong that you should feel inadequate.

Know this, too. We are a village. We are a match for these big and complex problems—it takes time, it takes interconnection, it takes persistence—but we will make it. One life at a time.

It's not up to you to be the solution. It's up to you to be one helping hand. (Facebook, 6.5.19)

Tina Porter takes comfort in knowing that there are “flawfully human” reasons for the things she does—and leaves undone.

I’ve always wanted . . . to feel comfortable as the me that I know myself to be—neither angel nor devil, bad nor good, but simply, and flawfully human with all the complexities that attend to that condition.

. . . . Naming it in some way and allowing myself the grace and the room to be exactly as I am is a way forward, but so is reminding myself on the daily that this work is never done. I will need these small reminders every day moving forward. (Tina L. Porter, 6.4.19)

Wisdom cries out in the street

Karen Hering reminds us that wisdom“takes her stand at the crossroads.”

Sometimes the busiest corners in my life are the intersections I carry within—the crossroads where my values meet the realities of my life and the world, or the large round-about in my heart where my hopes and fears, joys and losses, anger and gratitude all co-mingle, waiting for Wisdom to raise her voice above the din of it all, before they peel off in different directions. (Karen Hering, 6.2.19)

Barbara Stevens weighs two strategies: outrage and love.

[The] courage that sustains us comes less from anger and outrage than from love, whether love of self, of our children, of our planet, our democracy, our god. . . . But, as my husband says, “Love is hard work.” It is easier to rally a following around hatred than around love. Hate and anger fuel the vigilante spirit which causes so much pain and destruction. (Universalist Recovery Church, 6.1.19)

Whose hands are these?

Joanna Fontaine Crawford wrote this reflection to share with those attending a seniors coffee gathering.

The skin sags and there is hair in strange places
And other places, none at all
I used to walk as though with wings on my feetNow my legs can’t quite keep up. . . .

I don’t entirely know the face in the mirror
And whose hands are these attached to the ends of my arms?
But I tell you … it is still me in here. (Facebook, 6.6.19)

Theresa Novak has been startled by the changes in her body from a year of weight loss.

It is taking some emotional and psychological adjustment. . . . What happens to our souls when our bodies change?

. . . . I am healthier and stronger. But am I the same person? Yes, of course, and no, not really. My focus is different. I am living a more deliberate life than I did before, making decisions, even small ones, with more thought beforehand. I still “go with my gut” when the Spirit moves me to do so, but in some weird, mystical manner, something has changed. As my body shrinks, perhaps my soul is expanding. (Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musings, 6.6.19)

Jane Dwinell shares her partner’s struggles with the progressive losses of Alzheimer’s.

Many people struggle when they retire from paid work—when they lose that particular definition of who they are. They have to re-make themselves in a new image, find a new definition, find a new meaning.

But what if you can’t “do” anymore? How do you define yourself as a person? How do you find the core of your being? How do you know who you are anymore?

We are so much more than the things that we “do”—take all those “doings” away and what have you got? You’ve got a person who loves and is loved, who sees and is seen, someone who is unique in all the world—whether or not they “do” anything. (Alzheimer’s Canyon, 6.5.19)