“…As we grow in wisdom, we realize that everything belongs and everything can be received. We see that life and death are not opposites. They do not cancel one another out; neither do goodness and badness. There is now room for everything to belong. A radical, almost nonsensical “okayness” characterizes the mature believer, which is why we are often called “holy fools.” We don’t have to deny, dismiss, defy, or ignore reality anymore. What is, is gradually okay. What is, is the greatest of teachers. At the bottom of all reality is always a deep goodness, or what Merton called “a hidden wholeness.”” Richard Rohr
Richard Rohr writes a daily message that arrives in my email box. The quote above was today’s bit of wisdom. And, the above quote represents today’s bit of challenge, truth be told.
On a regular basis I get to sit at table with beautiful souls. On Wednesday nights I am part of a Covenant Bible Study. We are making our way through scripture through reading and great discussion.
Last night, one of the people at the table made a comment that provoked a snap response from me. What I said in response to said comment was not out of line, but the speed and intensity of my response let me know that my sense of equanimity (“Okayness”, as Rohr names it above) is far from matured in me.
In truth, I agree with Rohr and Merton that a hidden wholeness grounds all that is.
And, we live in a fractured and fracturing time.
Author Barbara Kingsolver says that the time for speaking up has come: We must name the things we can no longer countenance. Instead of politely nodding assent (implied through our silence) to statements and actions that harm the hidden wholeness God’s heart has created, we need to find ways to come to voice in cadences that challenge oppression and build community and wholeness.
I apologized to the individual and to the group for my quick response last night. I named my desire for the foolishness Rohr names above.
And, as an aspiring holy fool I wonder: How do we ground ourselves in wholeness and hope whilst challenging systems, words and actions that create fracture?
God has given us this day and this time. What deserts are crying out for voices?
Grounded in goodness, how will we witness to the light?