COMFORTABLY NUMB

1277243_10201893710251110_1529264531_oBy Lisa Huddleston

Sometimes painfully bright moments of piercing clarity cut through the mundane moments of my life. Epiphanies. Icy cold splashes of truth. Acid that eats holes in the fabric of the ordinary.

In these pinpoints of recognition, I cannot avoid the truth that life is very, very brief and often very, very hard. Yes, I know–life is also very, very beautiful. Yes, yes, it is painfully beautiful! Yet from the moment we are born, the math is against us. While we think we are adding, time is ticking and subtracting from us the things that we suppose will be always ours.

Born naked, we are wrapped in cloth that moths will eat and arms that worms will consume. Born soft and vulnerable, we build exoskeletons of stuff that rust promises to destroy. Even the tents of our flesh will each in its turn one day mold and disappear. “Life is so meaningless!” this moment screams. And it honestly feels that way in the cornea-burning blast of epiphanal light.

But spirit remains. Spirit lives on. Set free and once again naked and poor, our spirits return to the Spirit that inspires all life. And that is what all the losing, all the letting go is about–right, God? A freeing of spirit to a spacious place where we no longer are about addition or subtraction, or getting and spending, or the wasting of time. Isn’t that the truth? God, let that be the truth.

Then the blessed clouds pass over the sun. Our pupils return to normal diameters and the comfort of normalcy numbs our knowing into unknowing. And mostly we can forget–until the next time the sky splits.

 

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

les-reyes-have-to-fit-in-one-carriage-in-spainBy Lisa Huddleston

I have begun a practice that is a little odd to me, but I was looking for a fresh way to approach scripture this year and through a series of twists and turns have arrived at the Revised Common Lectionary, Episcopal Edition. Fresh and new? Ha–well it is to me.

And with this whole church calendar thing being somewhat foreign to me, even though as a child I attended a Lutheran church, I was both surprised and excited to see that today is a holiday–Epiphany to be exact!

As a matter of fact, there are Christians all around the globe celebrating today in a variety of ways–more gift giving, burning yule logs, visiting from house to house singing, and so on.  I have to admit that I’m glad we don’t drag out the whole party thing this long, but it is good to recognize that on the 12th day of Christmas there are 12 drummers drumming! Why? To announce to the world that Jesus is Lord–Epiphany! Theophany!

Therefore, without making even the least attempt at explaining all that this holiday celebrates depending upon the various traditions, I just wish to say, “Happy Epiphany to you!”

I’ve always loved epiphanies–big ones, little ones; heck, I even love to say the word, EPIPHANY!  And my personal epiphany today? Jesus made the journey from Heaven to Earth. The Wise Men went on pilgrimage to worship him and showed up in the right place at the right time (Matt. 2). And the journey still continues  through us–yes, even through me.

And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel (Psalm 84:5).

12days-359x407So … Happy Epiphany to you and yours!

And a partridge in a pear tree. Cha cha cha.