May 29th, 2010

love one another as i have loved you

The primary takeaway of _Proverbs of Ashes_ is P/presence, the importance thereof.

    In that time, I learned that everything is God's: my fucked-up self, my dirty laundry, my harrowing inability to be perfect for Ben [whose "alternate health care agent" she was when he was dying].  Everything is God's: shame, suicide, assisted death, AIDS.  Because God is inside everything, findable in everything, because---I became convinced---I would not have made it through Ben's death without God.  God is not too good to hang out with jet-lagged women with cat-litter boxes in their dining rooms, or men dying of AIDS, or, for that matter, someone nailed in humiliation to a cross.  God is not too good for anything.
    I learned about community: that being faithful to God means being faithful to others, in sickness and in health, for better for worse.
    In my journal of July 1999, I copied down a quote from the Czech president, Václav Havel: "By perceiving ourselves as part of the river," wrote Havel, "we take responsibility for the river as a whole."
    I began to understand that the Holy Spirit (who is clearly a scatterbrained woman at a very large computer in heaven) may or may not give a damn about results, but cares about the human process of getting there.

    -Nora Gallagher, Things Seen and Unseen: A Year Lived in Faith (pp.12-13)