Holy Listening


Okay, I’ve read all the wonderful articles written in response to the Wall Street Journal’s first ones regarding General Convention and I know that a lot of the article contains misinformation.  I think it is sad that we lose the true voice of convention on this one issue.  But today I’m in mourning.  My new junior warden has come to me and said that they can’t support the direction the church is going in and has turned in keys, pin, and a resignation letter.  How do we work this out in the real world small church where every member of the community counts?  I have done my share of preaching on no more us and them, on listening to every voice, and that our diversity is what makes us strong.  But today I feel weak with the loss of a light that gave life to our community.  I will miss that voice among us and I have stated that it is important to have that voice stay instead of go.  So I guess I feel cheated and in the bigger picture that our community is cheated.  

We live in a world that tells us discomfort needs to be fixed fast and that sometimes this means walking out the door.  This is not Christian community, this is not really paying attention to the Spirit of God and it robs the community of faith of the voices which give it strength.  I think we all get a sweet down home picture of the early church where no one disagreed with anyone else.  The bigger truth is that Peter and Paul couldn’t even sit at the same table without making a point on their argument (Galatians 2:21) of whether followers in Christ needed circumcision or not.  And yet the church was too small to split they had to stand and face one another in their disagreement.  I am sure this lead to many uncomfortable times between the two.  Do we even know how to live with this discomfort of spirit to walk into new ways of becoming?

See I guess the real problem I have is with that loss of voice.  Mine was taken away from me in the court system trying to get out of an abusive relationship.  It is hard when the courts and the police would rather believe you are just a vindictive woman looking to get the best divorce settlement.  My voice was taken because people didn’t bother to look deeper and see I was getting no benefit from this fight and how I was suffering.  So I’ve learned to live in the uncomfortable because it bought me my precious freedom.  If I had given up and believed the other voices I would have gone back to where I was.  So I think voices are very precious and I guess that is what is bothering me the most.  

The true voice of General Convention 77 is getting drowned out over one issue and one item.  We are ignoring all of the other wonderful diverse voices that were there and what it can teach us about the church when it is doing Holy listening.  The other is missing the voice of my junior warden in our small community and sharing life’s call of holy listening.  So I am left again with the question how does this work out in the real world, in the small church, can we really become engaged in holy listening?