In life there are scripts. In life there are protocols. In life there are “routines of response” that work to unruffle any unease or dis-ease or, heaven forbid, any weakness—and dare I mention it? Vulnerability.
I remember some time ago, put in the range of my ordained ministry that Bob Burt, at the time serving the United Church of Christ in Evangelism and Church Development, with some clergy at a conference to define and with that determine how the denomination can avoid atrophy. [Goodness, in reflection the notions were envisioning and not to dismiss, heartfelt.] He said to us “leaders,” a definition of leadership: “LEADERS LEAD.”
It’s never been clear to me, for any of us no matter the moments when we are to be in charge, or to declare our beliefs no matter the cost, when something should be said. Guess the test of life is when do emotions become verbal? Are tears enough, or if anger morphs into rage, the only expression a stare and clenched fists?
Why all this on an apparently quiet Sunday morning, about to worship and share my current world, about which God already knows, and seek to hear or feel how this day can work for the good?
I am not the Cleveland Cavaliers who have a daunting challenge to overcome injuries to make a “game” of the NBA Championship games against the Golden State Warriors. Having lived in the Cleveland area—considering Hudson to be more a suburb of Cleveland, I know how their “lack of victories” has become more than tolerable. I mean, really, what does it do to community spirit to be known as a city where a river runs through it caught on fire?
The litany could continue of the untoward.
Where this goes is an article I read this morning from MSN on line. About the funeral yesterday for Joseph Biden’s son, Beau, and President Obama’s response and emotional reaction. It struck me that his human moment—not sure how else it can be described—did not come from a script. It came from an honesty that needed to understand within himself how parents burying a child can tear apart any wholeness within. And yet. Make that a big “and yet.” For every one of us…may this day be a day where integrity and caring can be within the self…and any script of what everyone expects, not rule the day? So that when we speak, whether from affirmation or concern, is unscripted love.
That’s making a case for each of us…to live well. But never to live with honesty on the scaffold and caring ignored or denied. Be real. Be as good as possible. And know that life is a gift, and when we understand it more fully, a blessing.
The moment that brings perhaps the greatest value when walking the human landscape: