Interdependent Web: Who I am makes God bigger

Interdependent Web: Who I am makes God bigger

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

Heather Christensen


Who I am makes God bigger

Lynn Unger reads with new eyes the familiar words of Mary’s Magnificat: “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

Who I am, what I do, how I choose
makes God bigger. As if God
were to slip between microscope slides
and appear in never-before-seen detail.
Which is, of course, exactly
what happens. Somehow,
in being magnified God gets small,
small enough to sleep amongst the straw
and the scent of farm animals. (Facebook, December 14)

John Beckett describes the winter solstice as perhaps humanity’s oldest holy day.

We often use darkness as a metaphor for times that are difficult and painful. But the Winter Solstice is a reminder that long nights don’t last forever, and neither do difficult times.

Whatever else the Winter Solstice may teach, it teaches us hope and persistence. (Under the Ancient Oaks, December 15)

A modern, naturalist Buddhist, James Ford nevertheless leaves room for mystery in his thoughts about the possibility of past lives.

There is a sweet spot in all things. I believe there is in fact a mystery to our lives that isn’t adequately captured in either the classical stories and analysis that describe rebirth, nor with a bare observation that human consciousness arises out of brain functioning and will cease with the death of the brain. . . .

I find when I surrender, if just for a precious moment or two my certainties, my knowledge, my skepticism, and my acceptance, a kind of magic appears. (Monkey Mind, December 19)

Catharine Clarenbach encourages us to forget our perfect offerings.

[Where] spiritual practice is concerned, it is the gift of it that is important, not its perfection. It is the routine of it, the dailiness of it that shifts our hearts, hones our intuition, and melts unnecessary iron-hard walls that we have put up against the world. (The Way of the River, December 13)

The poison being spread

When some UUs (in the comments on a UUA Facebook post) defend weddings held on southern plantations, Kim Hampton says, “This shouldn’t be that hard, friends.”

There are many problematic places in the U.S. (and let’s not forget that the U.S. itself is stolen land), yet none are as romanticized as the forced labor, mass rape, and forced pregnancy and birth places known as plantations. The only reason those places exist is because chattel slavery happened there.

So…unless you are Scarlet O’Hara, do not have your wedding at Tara. And, if you are a Unitarian Universalist, stop supporting people who think that forced labor, mass rape, and forced pregnancy and birth camps are just pretty and “historic.” (East of Midnight, December 18)

Adam Dyer notes that the civil charges against activist DeRay McKesson upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals mean that “All of us need to be aware of the judicial appointments being made in our areas.”

Our rights to protest, to resist, to push back against authoritarianism and to fight for something better than a reality TV government are at risk. Our rights mean nothing before a judge who has been given the authority to pre-judge based on a narrow ideology and enabled by a government that is force feeding the public lies.

Get to know your district justice system . . . and recognize that the poison being spread by Trump will last well after he is dead. For all of our good, pray for DeRay. (spirituwellness, December 14)

Vanessa Southern feels outrage growing in the midst of her despair.

It certainly has felt like a greased slide into not caring about anything decent—kindness, compassion, women, honor, virtue, the role of Senior Statesperson, pride of your nation—except in some crass, mean-spririted and petty way. That alone has been awful to watch along with dismantling our reputation abroad, our environmental protections etc. However, it has been the flagrant, overt and unapologetic abuse of power—the disregard of what our patriots have died for again and again—that is inexcusable. (Facebook, December 19)

Build, together, better

One of Jordinn Nelson Long’s core beliefs is that “what we create matters.”

We, as humans, build things, and those things, for good or ill, they change lives. They create towns. They create interactions. They create containers in which our relationships happen. And those containers either do or do not push toward the possible. They either do or do not hold hope. . . .

Tear it down, I hear again and again. It’s the drumbeat of the moment, rooted in what feels like relentless, boundless heartbreak.

But I say, build better.

Believe, as difficult and messy as it inevitably is, that we have always been capable of creating.

And build, together, better. (Facebook, December 14)

The Interdependent Web will not be published next week. We’ll be back January 3. Happy holidays!