First I have to mention why I titled my last post as I did. I realized I forgot to write the story behind it and I later thought, "I'll bet that seems pretty obtuse." But really it's not. It refers to an experience during my retreat on Saturday.
I was sitting on a couch, journaling and minding my own business, when I glanced over and happened to see a giant spider on a nearby piece of furniture. Close enough to be a problem. See, I am arachnophobic - certifiably. I have uncontrollable hyperventilation if I don't remove myself from the view of the spider. So I got up quickly (did I mention this guy had looong spindley legs, probably a couple inches long?) and moved across the room. I liked the room and didn't want to leave. But I was no longer completely comfortable and stole many glances over to watch the arachnid, who didn't move (probably was dead).
Then after a little while I was still journaling and something caught my other eye. This time it was a kitty, outside the glass door. It was peeking in at me. I'd earlier noticed cat food under the rector's desk; now I knew why. So I fed the little skittish cat and it was grateful.
Then I was thinking, how odd, that here in this time of prayer and waiting to hear from God, I would encounter these two creatures. One is the animal that strikes the deepest terror in me, even involuntary physical reactions of horror. The other is probably my favorite, most comforting animal, the one I most like to see and spend time with. I don't know if there's any significance to it all, but I found it interesting.
I did write in my journal about whether I see God right now more as a spider or a cat. I think it's been spider lately - I haven't been trusting and have been fearful. I haven't been comfortable nor felt safe. But the qualities of the cat - warmth, serenity, calm, peace, joy, and so on - are more the qualities I wish I could feel in the presence of God. Of course we can never be utterly at ease before the Holy One. I don't want God to be safe (actually, cats aren't safe, as my many scars will attest - many given accidentally when trying to love me!). But I want to feel comforted and happy to see Her.
Well, I promised upcoming events and I have two to mention that will be of interest to those of you at Fuller. Here ya go:
The St. Clive Society (the name we've chosen for the Episcopal/Anglican group at Fuller) is going to be offering to the wider campus community an opportunity for a weekly Eucharist together. Since many Fuller students do not take communion weekly at their churches, we thought this would be a lovely offering from our tradition. It is open to all faculty, students, staff, alumni, various & sundry hangers-on, and families. Hopefully we will eventually be adding a fellowship meal following the service of prayer and communion. I hope you will join us now & then as you are finding yourself needing a feeding. :)
We will launch the Anglican Holy Communion service, to be held weekly from 6.00pm till 7.00pm on Thursdays, this week (Thursday 11th January) in the conference room on the first floor of Carnell Hall (behind the Catalyst). You will be warmly welcome.The service will be open to all members of the Fuller Community who love the Lord and desire to meet around his table, irrespective of denominational affiliation.
Also I want to alert you that a small group of us are going to gather regularly this quarter to discuss issues surrounding homosexuality and the church. Our first meeting is also this Thursday, directly following the Eucharist service. It will be at the home of Mary Marjorie Bethea, who lives in my apartment complex (behind Pasadena's central library), about 5 mins walk from Fuller. We'll have tea & biscuits and will be watching a documentary entitled "Trembling Before G-d", which tells the stories of gay and lesbian orthodox Jews and their churches. It is well-balanced, informative, and moving. Following the film we'll have a discussion. The evening is planned to go from 7-9. If you want more info and need an address or directions, email me through my profile page.
Lots of nice stuff to do this week. Now I challenge you to not just sit in front of the Office & Earl (that's what VCRs are for!) but join me for one or both of these experiences!
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Rather reminds me of the Ingmar Bergman film "Through a Glass Darkly," which is disturbing, but good watchin'. Seen it?
I haven't, which is kind of surprising. We've been on a bit of a Bergman kick lately. I've really enjoyed Persona and shoot, I can't remember the title - the one about the war, it starts with an S. I wasn't as crazy about Hour of the Wolf but it was fine. Our library has a good Bergman collection. I'll go put that one on hold. Thanks!
It's Shame. Great film, extremely pertinent to today.
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