Although I had no intention of being funny, Melinda was laughing. She is scary-smart and has a way of hacking the fat from any conversation. We have been long distance friends for many years. The reconnects are never awkward.
Actually, whatever made her laugh isn’t important. Our conversations lead to new ways of looking at both the current topic and many life decisions. She forces the search.
There has never been a time in my life that I did not long for a spiritual belief system that sustained. Being raised a Catholic, and nurtured by Dad who believed to his core, made the early years safe. At this moment, I can feel the comfort of those years.
The process of maturing is ongoing and isn’t always accepting of early comfort. Reality overcomes. Beliefs suffer challenge.
Melinda’s laughter is often one of those challenges. Dan’s recommendation of the works of Huston Smith is another of those challenges. My frequent (often inspiring) exchanges with Chris, Mark’s unique perspective, Two-Names wisdom, Karol’s unflinching support, Martha’s terse emails keep me prickly and searching. I am profoundly grateful.
I believe that it isn’t enough to be part of tradition and community, though these are vital to human comfort. The greater need is for something more, so much more than physical comfort or the false security of following the letter.
What a waste to attend a church service and walk out into a life that doesn’t require more than that hour of worship each week. What a waste to claim spirituality over religion if spirituality is lazy and uninvolved.
Wouldn’t we feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the children, seek social justice, educate and clothe, welcome those we see as ‘different’ IF religion and spirituality were true seekers?
Wouldn’t women and men who perform these works be joined by thousands more if religion required embracing message and mission?