Tales October 2009


         Recently I heard Andrew Harvey speak down in Bennington.  He is an author, scholar and mystic who has immersed himself in a variety of the world’s religions.  His latest book is called “the Hope” and it is about what he calls “sacred activism.” 

         I went to his lecture a little worried that he would be laying the guilt on us about not doing enough to change the world, but found a different message when I got there.  Harvey asked each of us in the audience to consider what it is that “absolutely breaks our heart.”  Good question.

         Ever since Friday night, I have been sifting through various things that are “out there,” asking myself which one hits home for me.  There are so many things to care about, so many issues that need to be addressed in our world, but what I appreciate is he was encouraging us to just focus on the one that really broke our hearts, and then get together with a group of other people who felt the same and start doing what you can to make a difference in this one issue.  It feels very do-able to me. 

         Another essential part of his advice was that in order to find the strength to engage ourselves in the world in an active way, we also needed to take part in some form of spiritually-grounding practice.  Prayer, meditation, mindful walking - we all need to do something that feeds our souls and enables us to find the strength to do what might be very difficult work out in the world.  Take time to fill yourself up every day, since you never know what might be required of you.

         If the idea of doing one thing to make a difference appeals to you, if you know what it is that breaks your heart whether it be children’s issues, health care reform, animal rights, climate change, or something else, then maybe we can gather small groups who want to make a difference. 

         If I or the church can be of help in providing a place to gather, or a clearing house for ideas to help like-minded people find one another, please contact me.  Together we really can make a difference in the world and toy our hearts.

 Blessings,  Shirley Oskamp,  Pastor