by Rev. Dan Morley, North District Superintendent
Even though we have just passed through the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, these can feel like dark times.
Inflation in the cost of living from eggs to the fuel pump; mid-term political rivals painting one another as evil; the distress of the action of the SCOTUS on the retraction of Roe vs Wade; the roller-coaster of the Stock Market — each continues to cause us to spin and rock back on our heels.
Sometimes when I am not sure what to do about the big stuff, I just clean up a little mess in my corner of life.
I have been in a clean-up and clean-out mode this summer. Now and then I get the itch to lighten the load and clear out the accumulation in the garage, closets, or extra room in the house. It may have something to do with the deeply ingrained life of a United Methodist itinerant pastor and that great-move which happens across the connection in the month of June. Even if it is not a move-year in our home, I somehow relate to those clergy families who are in transition and I participate by doing my own cleaning and unloading.
When I was cleaning up a dusty corner in the garage of stuff and dust, I spotted a spider’s web. Before just sweeping it away, I took a careful look to see if anyone might be home or nearby, just to be cautious of that black widow or brown recluse. None in sight — the coast was clear. I did take a second glance at the web stretching between the shovel and rake and took notice of its beauty and strength. My simple movement and breath caused it to dance in the shadows and light.
The web structure is a master engineering creation which is intentionally interconnected. In his book, The Hungering Dark, Frederick Buechner wrote — “Life is like a huge spiderweb so that if you touch it anywhere you set the whole thing trembling.” Buechner explores the complicated places in life which cause distress and doubt and he brings us into the place of possibilities and hopes.
Knowing, valuing, and living the nature of our interconnectedness as God’s design, is an expression of seeing the Spirit in all and through all (which I see reflected by Paul in Acts 17). This brings hope. As disciples of Jesus Christ, it is our mission to bring hope to a confused and confusing world.
In our celebration and affirmation of welcoming all persons, we acknowledge that what affects one of us affects each of us. Our practice of pastoral itineracy encourages our interconnectedness, awareness, and sensitivity to each part of our conference body. Itineracy definitely comes with its challenges and even dangers which are often in those unseen corners and shadows as we enter into new spaces and places. Therefore, it is important to have eyes and hearts wide-open and know that all we do makes a difference right where we are as well as across this great connection.
Celebrating our Christ Connections,