Archives for: November 2015, 26


11/26/15 | by Shareen [mail] | Categories: downtown girls

Sometimes, when I turn out the lights, at the end of the day, I know immediately my smallness and my one-ness.
I see my self in my bed, in this vast room, in this great city, in this state and country and universe and know the silence and simplicity of this pin pointed and singular life.
I rarely, but do sometimes, think on how it is that I should be alone. I think, in all this world would it be so difficult for God to find me another, to here, or there, make me one of two.
Because I know I am loved, and because I know that the divine is not separated from my soul, I wonder then what it is this classroom in which I am sitting. The faithful, and I am one, know that there is no bad luck, nor is there punishment, or limitation. We know that there is only love. Perhaps then I am only living on the edge of God’s witness and patience.
Is it all just there, beyond our reach, our fathoming, requiring only that we step in? Is He standing by, arms crossed, broad warm smile, staring hard at us adoringly and wondering at our timidity?
Does He sit back with knowingness that it matters not that our understanding be today, or tomorrow? Does He know already that we will eventually fall gently forward into his palm, distracted at being fed, allowing His hand finally its fullness upon our grateful backs.


11/26/15 | by Shareen [mail] | Categories: downtown girls

After Paris

November 2015

When I clean my house I always start in exactly one corner.

Taking on the 6 rooms of the small bungalow at once is too much for me.

I do remember one day when I dusted in one room and swept in another, tidied here and straightened there, and back round again and again. For the most part, it worked, but I felt dizzy from it and scattered. If the phone had rung while I spun these cleaning plates, I certainly would have dropped the whole lot.

When things are in disarray it is best to start in one corner, and work one’s way out, bit by bit.

The world is a mess. If you feel off or down or confused, slightly insecure, flashing anxiety, it is because though your room may be tidy, what surrounds it is in forms of upset ranging from disorder to disaster. The air that touches us is filled with the echo of grief.

As you begin your day today, as you venture out into your immediate world, pick one corner and make it better.

In my church, in churches around the country, near the end of the service the pastor will ask you to ‘pass the peace’. Though you may feel sometimes uncomfortable you will turn behind you, then turn again to reach out in front, and either take a hand, or in my case, embrace a stranger with a hug, and say, “peace be with you” .

At the Presbyterian Church on Fifth avenue, standing beside me was Steve. He was grizzled and big and sweaty. His hands were swollen and cracked. He stood and kneeled and stood again and sat beside me sharing in the service. A stranger holding a respectful distance and silence. But at “pass the peace”, when I took him into my arms, he became mine, a friend, a fellow, a journeyman along my way. “ Peace be with you” I said near his ear. “ Peace be with you.” He said into my hair, and as I pulled away from him, I looked into his eyes, mine then filled with joy at having felt his heart beat. I beamed at him, then leaning in to whisper I said, “ It’s the best part, isn’t it? “ And he smiled too. “ It is. “ he said. And we smiled into each other with shyness and knowing and gratitude. My heart lifted and filled with singing.

Isn’t it sometimes just unbearable sweetness to feel your love penetrate another and receive that gratitude returned?

Pass the peace. Do it everywhere you go today.

Let us begin in our small corner. Hand out a dollar, reach out a hand, deliver a kind word and bit by bit let us make a difference.

I dream of a day when we all agree that at a certain hour on a certain day, all over the world, at once, we will turn to whom ever is standing beside us and say, “Peace be with you.”

November 2015
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