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“Not the Sermon” Message

This Week at Trinity, Beamsville

Friday, February 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

            This week has gone incredibly quickly, as I’m sure you may have noticed, too.  The beauty of a long weekend can so quickly fade in the rush of getting everything else done with one fewer day.

            That aside, this week also included the gift of some time with colleagues in the School of Celtic Consciousness.  I probably speak about this school ad nauseum now… and if I don’t, perhaps I should start.  The teachings and community are enriching and strengthening, and include deep commitment to core Christian spiritual practices for the whole being. 

            In pursuit of expressive arts for sacred growth, this week’s encounter at the School included a colleague’s demonstration of felting.  I don’t have a succinct description of it, but to this novice eye, it is a rich combination of tactile, textile, creative work – albeit with a sharp needle and thick thimbles. 

            While introducing it to us, my colleague referred to some samplings of what felting can produce.  One exceptional piece was a large, round, earth-toned piece, with secondary, lavender-hued layers in the shape of a labyrinth.  I’m sure we all wanted to take it home with us.  One classmate in particular put up her hand and said, “I want to make that; just like that,” to which my colleague replied gently, “That represents no less than one month of felting, in long stretches of work.  Our half-hour demo isn’t going to cut it.”  Indeed.

            I don’t criticize my classmate or her longing.  She simply spoke what I was already feeling.  She also named a dominant posture of my life:  the one where I can look out ahead at what I long to be, or create, or accomplish, but then struggle with the necessary time it will take to get there.  Patience is not a strong suit for me.  Some people think that it is, and I suppose I can be, immensely so, when it comes to other people.  But, when it comes to me and my internal ramblings and wrestlings, patience is a much lesser known virtue.

            I would say that I come by that honestly, and/or genetically, but I think I come by that simply in my humanity.  It seems God’s people, of every time and place, are so very prone to hurrying things along – or at least, longing to.  We are a complicated people, with layers of emotions and experiences, wonderings and wanderings, that can lead us in to spaces for which we might not be completely prepared… not yet.  Fortunately, we’re also and always accompanied by God’s ever-mindful Spirit, that stays with us regardless, patiently guiding us back to the necessary pace of it all.

            So, when I find a way to take up felting properly, I might just, someday, hopefully, produce a replica of that beautiful labyrinth piece.  For now, I think God needs me to settle for learning some basic techniques of the art.  For now, I think God needs me to settle into gazing on the beauty of it all, and embrace the process of letting it all unfold, in precious time. 

With love to you all,


“Your ideas mature gradually, let them grow.  Let them shape themselves without undue haste.” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, ‘Trust in the Slow Work of God’)

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