I’m still digesting the feast laid out by poet David Whyte yesterday at a gathering held at Hennepin Ave UMC.

In talking about the wild learning project that is living and loving, he spoke of the power of forgiveness.

Whyte said that if a friendship has lasted over the years, each individual has had opportunity to forgive and be forgiven through the years.

In order for relationship to be, forgiveness is a crucial ingredient.

What gift it is to greet and name forgiveness as necessary in relationship rather than trying to dodge the reality that there will be bumps and hurting through any companionship that is real.

The acknowledgement of the sometimes heartbreak and disappointment that is living in relationship is a unique gift given by the teachings of Jesus.

According to an insight shared by some wise person I encountered in my reading, while all religious traditions teach a version of the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), Christianity is unique in that Jesus was specific about how it is we are to practice the soul art of forgiveness.

I’m grateful for that.

This morning I sat over coffee with two women I have known as friends for over twenty years.  As I took in the gift of their being I was aware of gratitude for forgiveness given and received.  I can’t remember that we’ve gotten into major scrapes through the years, but I know that hurts and challenges have accompanied our relationships.

Yet there we were, the forgiving and the forgiven, reveling in the miracle of years lived in each other’s company.

Being human is no solitary pursuit.

Soul gifts come in the stretch and song of loving.

Forgiveness frees, teaches, and waters the tender bungle that we are.

Thanks be.






We all lead.

Sometimes we do that leading in acknowledged and titled ways.

Always we lead; titled or no.  We do it through the ways we speak and listen as well as take action and rest.

Leading in a church is an adventure like few others.  We are grounded on the teachings and leading provided by Jesus.  Jesus knew that people were going to bump into each other in ways that would sometimes provoke hurt.  Knowing that, he taught much about forgiveness and about being willing to know the larger heart of the Holy that connects and grounds us through pain and joy alike.  He taught that our larger identity, beyond any other labels we might graft onto our sense of self, is that of follower of the Way.  We stumble, we lurch, we glide and we fly and in all of those human beings, we are people connected by Holy grace.

Not a one of us does life without bruises inflicted and received.  To be in community is to know hurt.

My prayer in all of our attempts to live the teachings of Jesus is that we remember our larger holding.

At RUMC, we seek to live in such a way that we see the Christ in all.  We make decisions and make life seeking to create community in such a way that when hurts happen, as we know they will, there is a sense of the larger heart holding us as we discern our call to fullness of life.

On this day, I want to name the courage it takes to step into the world and seek to live teachings meant to bless and provoke.

In all things, at all times, this thing called leadership calls for mindful, courageous, humble and compassionate engagement of whole selves.

This thing called “church” is a wholeness laboratory.

Thank God for holy Petrie dishes.