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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

...getting it at cost........

Living into this 'being a writer' thing has been a challenge and the best way for me to approach it is as a storyteller. Perhaps it's a writer's lot to take the fodder of the everyday and find some universal commonality and send that out. One day that might be the morning commute or noticing how Emmy Lou gives me shows unconditional love or the daffodils in the park.

.... one thing that has not come to light thusfar in MOLC is how my imagination helps me wrestle with faith.... Truth be told, long before 'Joan of Arcadia' God has made many an appearance in my thinking in many different guises. Let me tell you of one that relates to Holy Week.

I was traveling cross-town on a bus in New York City. [Anyone who has hopped on a crosstown knows that it in no way resembles a bullet train. It stops, it squeals, it meanders haltingly trying to avoid hitting all manner of pedestrian and vehicle, including the couriers on bicycles weaving in and out of traffic and the yellow cabs streaking in front of it.] It was later in the day and the bus was uncharacteristically UNcrowded.

I got on at 1st Avenue and 34th Street heading west to 9th Avenue, having just visited a friend in the hospital. I was angry - the kind of angry you see in cartoons where the character's face turns from white to pale to pink to red to crimson... and able to cook an egg on the top of the head. My very young, talented friend was dying. The hospital was overcrowded and he had spent several days on a gurney in a hallway. I was muttering against the system, against fate, against God.

It isn't fair I heard myself saying... it isn't fair. It became clear within minutes I was taking this to a whole new selfish level. What's it worth? You invest in love and friendship and they leave you. It's a waste of energy. Let some other bleeding heart bleed. It's too much to lose anymore friends or family - it hurts too much. [At this juncture, my jaws were hurting from gritting my teeth so hard.]

As chance would have it, I looked up slowly and directly across the aisle and there sat (in my mind anyway) an older Hassidic man: black hat, black coat, black pants, black shoes, black ringlets, grey beard.
So.... what is it worth?
Excuse me?
Loving. Trying. What is it worth to you?
and what is Your point in all this anyway? You're God - supposed to be Good.
Oiy, don't drop that one on me. I am, you are. Things come, things go. Some good, some not so hot in the short run.
Is that it?? ..... I sat staring forward, just as bewildered as before, hoping the other shoe would eventually fall.
Dear, I'm not blind already! I see what's going on - my people are on it - and you are one of them.
I don't want to be. It is costing me too much to care so deeply and then having to let go and say goodbye. My travel companion listened intently to what I had to say.
Hmmmmmm....... well. Now, don't take this as a cliche.... but let's suppose I make you a deal.
Like what? What do you consider 'a deal'?
I'll treat you like family..... suppose I gave it to you at cost?
What is that supposed to mean?
I charge you what it costs me, nothing more. I'm not making anything on this deal.
HELLO.......... you're God. It doesn't cost you anything.
Such a fancy shmancy church girl. Pppppppppppfffffffffff.
He got up and walked across the aisle to me and pressed the 'request stop' button for a familiar ding, holding onto a stainless poles that flanked the exit well with the other wrinkled hand.
The bus came to a halt, he pushed the doors open and said upon exiting,
Honey, it always costs me. It cost me my Son. It will cost losing this son, too - yet he will come back to me and that is worth everything.


Most loving Creator, grant me the insight to know how much you loved, love and will love us - through our natural birth through our eternal birth and the strength to follow your example. Amen.


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