Bob Woods: Let’s use our faith to bring us together, not to drive us apart
Most of us have at one time kept a caterpillar in a jar.
We watched while it grew, watched it hang upside down and then saw it change into a chrysalis. When the time was right, the butterfly emerged from the chrysalis transformed.
What does a caterpillar feel as it climbs up a stick, ties itself on and drops upside down? I wonder if there can be anything scarier than taking such a leap. Change and transformation involve risk, doubt and fear.
What will I become?
What will happen?
What if something goes wrong?
There’s nothing wrong with being a caterpillar, and I wonder if sometimes a caterpillar would rather just stay a caterpillar. But to be a butterfly.
All too often we are like that caterpillar. We know that there is something bigger and more profound that we have been called to become. We know that without change, we may die a caterpillar. And yet, we fear the leap, the risk.
We don’t have to be binary thinkers.
We don’t have to be either/or thinkers. Are you part of a Red or Blue state? Are you progressive? Then your foes must all be right-wing nuts. Racist and what? Not racist? Feminist? No, Rush Limbaugh’s “Femi Nazi.” Either you are pro-war or you are a traitor. Either you believe in a God who works miracles, or you must be an atheist. Either you are an atheist, or you must be a fundamentalist. Or worse, a wishy-washy moderate. Either you’re a Halliburton-supporting capitalist, or you must be one of them socialists, like they have in France. Either you are pro-gay marriage or you are the new Fred Phelps. Either you are gay or straight : I read this book which changed my life : it answers everything. I take this supplement which changed my life. I found …
The call of paradise is to risk becoming a new person. Easter isn’t about Jesus. It’s about you. He’s claimed his new life. Will you claim yours? Whether we understand resurrection and paradise as metaphorical or literal are we willing to be transformed, resurrected and called into paradise?
What transformation is waiting for you? What butterfly are you called to become? Can you face your fear of the unknown and risk baptism into paradise?
Prayer of Encouragement:
Following the Path
Let’s follow those who lead us well,
and that we in turn might learn how to better lead.
Let’s follow those who always question hurt and harm, and help to answer their anguish by offering our healing.
Let’s follow those who turn away from
humiliation or violence, and call them heroes and sheroes, not cowards.
Let’s follow the paths of those who braved trails before us, that we may learn, not their paths,
but how to brave trails of our own.
Let’s follow the path of the wise,
whom we recognize because they never claim to be wise,
and never, ever bully.
Let’s follow those who laugh, who weep,
who dance, who play, who struggle, who refuse to shame,
who refuse to demean, so that we can
remember what it means to be truly and most honorably human.
Oh Love, be our guiding star and our compass as we follow on.
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