home

Carole King’s Tapestry album was the soundtrack for my teens.  The album somehow found each part of me and gave it voice.

One of the songs that has been sounding in my being this past week is the song “Home Again”.  It begins: “Sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to make it home again, it’s so far and out of sight.  I really need someone to talk to and nobody else knows how to comfort me tonight.”

Besides the fact that the song is soul-woven, it has sung in my heart because of the power of the story of the Prodigal.  Jesus tells a story about a man who loses himself in the so-many distractions that can lead us to groundlessness.  Jesus tells us that the man “came to himself” and decided that he wanted to return home to the place where he is known and taken in, stupendous stumbles and all.

It is our story in so many ways, is the story of the Prodigal.  We sing the song of “Home Again” so many times in our lives.

We wander seeking home throughout our lives.  We convince ourselves that home can be found in chemicals or time fritters or shopping or something someplace someway that will take away the great lonely of living.  We wander and long and wonder and then, oh then, we come to ourselves and remember Home.

Home in the great expanse of the Holy whose song dances through us yet.  Home in the wrap of claiming and welcome that awaits us if we would but cease our scurry.

Home in the heart of God;  taken in, welcomed and fussed over are we.

Home.

something

Outside the sanctuary, the first snow flakes of the year were slopping.

Inside the sanctuary, there were hundreds gathered.  We were there, pilgrims that we are, to listen to the heart of poet David Whyte.

Whyte wove a web of invitation to each of us to examine the temporary names we live under and add to them a name which honestly speaks the soul longing that thrums within each:  Pilgrim.

As pilgrims, we know our call to “set out beyond ourselves” as we learn to ask more and more beautiful questions about this journey that is our life.

In reflecting on the grand mystery that is life, Whyte quoted his dear Anam Cara, John O’Donohue, who said that “The great miracle of life is that there is something rather than nothing and that you are a part of that something.”

In the sanctuary of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church we who gathered were keenly aware of our being part of the great “something”.  As Whyte read his poems (the latest collection is entitled “Pilgrim” and is soul companion song), he left at the end of each reading a deep silence.

In that silence sang the longings, losses, and hope-beat of each heart present.  We were woven by reverence for the sacred scripture that is life lived courageously, openly and cracked-open painfully.

In the silence was the “something” sung through the ages.

It sings yet.

soul song

 

I am newly home from a ten day pilgrimage to Ireland.

The trip sought to stimulate questions provoked by land.  How is it place shapes soul?  Do  rocks and stones indeed cry out story?

Indeed they do.  The group visited sites where intrepid souls carved out space in which to worship and learn.  Centuries ago, the building blocks of shelter from the wind and cold were heaved out of the land and placed one upon the other and within that stone womb life stirred.

Those on pilgrimage stood in shell after shell of worship space.  Many of them no longer had roofs, since conquerers throughout time have had a keen sense that spiritual questing often leads to resistance of civic power used to oppress.  Worship site after worship site had been sacked by powers seeking to silence the sound that can not be stilled: the keen and croon of soul.

We who journeyed joined with that song; the song of soul seeking voice, witness, community and healing.

We listened to the wind and the song of the stones.

We sing on.