That stubborn candle, child of darkness, has spent my time in Traverse eroding my sense of purpose. Art is frivolous. Writing a waste and food crafted by my hands is stupid when it can be strore bought. Long time readers will know that the stubborn candle is my brother. New readers should know that this Waltonesque dream of mine is why he's had so much power to make my burdens heavy: I have expected him to make them light in the way John Walton Jr. did his siblings' trials. I forgot that in following the call there are relationships that must fall away. But in being intimately keyed to dad's health care and maintenance, my personal desire to manifest the familiail connections that we had hoped for as children, that I continued to hope for until recently, allowed me to wander this minefield with the gingerfooted grace of a kender rather than a skilled personel retrieval expert. I flet bad because I hurt his feelings by so easily adopting my brothers and sisters in and out of Christian fellowship. He felt abandoned and unworthy. That is his own issue. I tried to always include him but he would always decline. I made it my issue then. I tried to be less around him. Then he was always around. I never noticed it untol the fllamed guttered close to being extinguished. So i rebell and we start our own private war again. So here I praise G-d for Facebook.
And e-mail. Facebook had aloowed me to reconnect with people hwo have been integral to my development on spiritual and human levels. They have all helped me to become the person I am, even if I never knew how important they would be. Case in point, my classmates from elementary to graduation. Facebook, in allowing reconnection, has brought me out of the isolation induced by my unrealistic expectations of my family relationships. I am neither rock nor island: I feel pain and I cry. And I am not the only person with issues. Facebook has allowed me to remember that cometimes tha candle just has to sit quietly on its stand and keep vigil over those who are lost, lonely, hurt or sick. Sometimes it can crack a joke, ofer healing energy/prayers, congrats or advice. But mostly the candle lit by Mercy's light is just supposed to shine thereby drawing others to warmth, maybe an embrace, but importantly to stand boldly against the dark. That requires a shipload of candles to stand together. A single candle gutters in the wind of a careless whisper or a violent bluster. Like a choir of candles in a Catholic shrine or 8 bold little candles on a menorah- the more cadles that shine the more light. Light dispells darkness.
i had thought, guiltily, that Facebook was a waste of time. I indulged in the time wasting by sensing on occassion that if he knew what Iwas doing he would blow a gasket. Then I opened my e-mail today. The overwhelming majority of messages came from Facebook friends and family. Tucked among the catch up notes was an amzing reminder of a truth that transcends belief systems: G-d uses all things to the good of those who love him.
A friend of mine from Marquette wrote an amazing note on his page. I responded by sending a blurb abck to let him know that his words were recieved and no jusgement was going out to him form me. He sent a blurb back. Then today's email says he thought my response was more amazing than his posted note. While I disagree with the amazing lable, I cannot disagree with the amazing result of two lights dancing. [Name redacted *] shared a scenario that reveals both his character nd G-d's while illustrating the need to have other people in our lives; and to have alife you can live as genuinely as possible, flaws and all. It was amazingly poignant, tender and on a Risk factor of 1-10 (10 being riskiest) he wrote at a level 15 vulnerability. But he gained about 500 strength points.
See when i publish somehting on the internet, or anywhere, there is a huge risk of offending someone or attracting that spite and malice in people who hate the light- even their own. This happens to another friend of mine all the time. With (*) having freshly reconnected with people he hasn't seen in years, he ran the risk of judgement resulting in disconnection ot attack. Could people accept this flawed (*) instead of the (*) they knew? Could his sharing have any real value? Could(*), a born encourager and walking partner, still be used by G-d to serve the light? Yes.
I found value in his words, but more in the expression of trust and the reality that no matter what we are human, mistake making, struggling, mis-stepping humans serving the light as best as this condition llows. (*) reminded me that sometimes we are another person's shelter, rock, refuge because that is what G-d asks us to do. He doesn't ask us to tear each other down. Sometimes we are silent partners, not so silent co creators, and exuberant co-celebrants. We are called to cry, laugh,empathise and joke with others. Sometimes we are just an ear or an eye. But we are always connected. And the only thing really that G-d expects us not to do is diminish each other. We do that all on our own. Believeme, we really don't need help in that department. In reading (*)'s post, you can tell that he didn't need to be reminded of falling short. And I don't need reminding that I fall short. I only need the same love and acceptance that I was given by Grace. (*) reminded me that it is still there. So I reminded him. Nothing amazing- just light kindling. Just celebrating the light. That is my business.