Alice Walker wrote: “But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can’t miss it…I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple somewhere and don’t notice it.“
I wonder…does it bother God more when do not notice all that is good in the world, or when we do not see the pain of our brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends? Does it trouble God when we don’t see how connected we really are? Is it enough to say thank you or must our gratitude move us to act, live, think, even see differently? Or perhaps, does noticing the beauty around us allow us to see the pain and suffering without giving into despair?
This Sunday, Jesus gives us another parable that’s not so easy to hear (or preach–cue the violins). It’s the story of Lazarus and the rich man. A story of the invisible being made plain. It’s another example of Jesus inviting us be troubled, and then do something about it. It might be an invitation to see the world through new eyes, to see the suffering and despair, but also see the beauty and compassion. Maybe Jesus is inviting us to notice the movement of love already at work in the world. And in seeing, really seeing, join the dance of compassion.
I’ll see you on Sunday,
PS. Thank you to all of you who shared your insight on the parable of the dishonest manager. What fun! Thank you! Thank you for sending emails and stopping by to say, “I disagree,” or “Maybe, it’s this…,” or “Have you looked at it this way?” I so appreciate the dialogue and discussion. Thank you for trusting me enough to disagree, and push back, and invite more holy listening and conversation. I wonder, is there energy for a more formalized time of sermon “talk-back.” Would a weekday gathering be a fun way to continue the conversation? If that sounds like fun to you, let me know. If not, keep the emails, drop-bys, phone calls, and feedback coming. I’m listening.