June 14, 2011

“Perhaps you have not loved / this miracle…”

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:54 pm by Rev. Thomas Perchlik

Be bold my friends…

This past Sunday was our “Animal Blessing” Sunday. The title of the day is a pun on the fact that we bless the animals (show our approval of them and our hopes for their well being), and the fact that all non-human animals are a blessing on and for us.   Our very dedicated Director of Youth Programs told the story of “St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio” (the saint helps a village and a wolf become friends) and she added many thoughts about animals in our lives.  Then she went around and touched each dog, cat, rat, or etc. with a little water on the tips of her fingers.  It was very positive and life affirming ritual.  I was proud that my dog Socks was perfectly well behaved, considering he had a box of kittens sitting only three feet from his nose.

The sermon this day was given by the very talented and smart Rev. Barbara Child, visiting as our Ministerial Settlement Representative.  The sermon was perfect ministry to me and the congregation facing our last Sunday together before I move to a new (to me) city and congregation. Her sermon was titled “Boldness in the Face of Uncertainty”.

In-between the ritual and the sermon I had planned a meditation, but the story and blessing of so many animals took longer than I had expected. So I moved on  and let “Spirit of Life” be the time of meditation. Barbara also ended her sermon with a brief prayer/meditation also, so that was good.

But I missed sharing the meditation. As a bridge between the animals and boldness I chose “Bats” by Rev. Lynn Ungar. I know the original poem is set in the autumn, so I would have replaced “Certainly these days” with “It  seems on some days”.  Here it is as she had it published:

Perhaps you have not loved
this miracle–the bats
on their flickering wings
ushering in the night.
Certainly these days the darkness
comes too soon, and dimness
has outlasted color.  But still,
there is the way they love
what you do not desire,
the way the appear, like stars,
without arriving. There is the
way their furred bodies shimmer
above the earth like angels,
the way they hear what we
have lost. Haven’t you always
longed for wings? Imagine
hanging by your toes in some
cave or tree or belfry,
how gently the darkness opens,
how the night is filled
with imperceptible singing.

Be as bold as bats, and as those who love the blessing of bats. Sing, even imperceptibly in your daily work, or be one of those who hear the singing and are lifted by it.

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