While Pastor Andy is out of town, we welcome guest contributors to The Flash. This week we welcome Matthia McCracken to the writer’s desk.
Earlier this week, we had quite a thunderstorm. I enjoy the thrill of seeing a flash of lightning and waiting to see if the accompanying sound will be a slow rumble or a crack that seems to rip the air in two. As I’ve thought about this week’s storm though, I found myself thinking of the people for whom thunderstorms are events that cause anxiety. It brings to mind an anecdote by Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön.
“I’m reminded of something that happened when my daredevil son was about twelve years old. We were standing on a tiny platform on the prow of a large ship — kind of like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic — and I started to describe to him my fear of heights. I told him I wasn’t sure I could stay there, that I was having all sorts of physical sensations and my legs were turning to mush. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said, ‘Mom, that’s exactly what Ifeel!’ The difference is that he loved the feeling. All of my nieces and nephews are bungee jumpers and spelunkers and enjoy adventures that I avoid at any cost because I have an aversion to the same feeling that gives them a thrill.”
When a guest visits Hanover, they can easily see our diversity in age, color, and maybe even economic background. What may not be so obvious is that the diversity we celebrate runs deep. Some of us have aversions to the same feelings that others thrill in. We can hear the same piece of music, sit in the same service, or attend the same event and some of us will say, “Wasn’t that marvelous?” while others say, “Well, we shouldn’t do that again.”
This Sunday we’ll hear the story of one daughter being used as wages instead of the other. We’ll also hear about God permeating every moment, every aspect of our lives. These are perfect examples of Bible passages that make our diversity manifest. The discussion at Discipleship Class before worship will no doubt be a lively one. Then, during worship, we welcome guest preacher Rev. Patty Gross to the pulpit to share her reflection and message, which will open our eyes to a new perspective. May God bless us in our diversity as we worship together.