Weekly Message from T. J.

In Bloom

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some changes to my routine lately. What we are seeing, what is happening around each one of us, maybe in each one of us, is unprecedented. And for a few days now, the conversations I’ve been having seem to turn to the enormity of what is happening across the globe.  There are probably as many different reactions to what is happening around us as there are people around the globe. I don’t think anything has quite so uniformly impacted so many so quickly. At least not that I can remember.

But there is something else at work in these times, I feel. As I speak with more and more people, I am hearing stories about reaching out to those we have not seen in a while. I am hearing beautiful stories about forgiving wrongs that were committed in a quickly retreating past. I am hearing about hearts opening to those around them and outpourings of care and concern for those in our midst and in other corners of the Beloved Community. In a word we are seeing at work a word so dear to us here at First Unitarian: compassion.

Someone explained to me once that cultivating compassion is not something you decide to do and it happens. Deciding to be compassionate, they explained, is about as logical as deciding a flower should bloom and then expecting it to happen right then. This might be why one of the enduring images for compassion is the lotus blossom. When the circumstances and the surroundings are in harmony, are aligned to allow for the blossoming, it happens. It simply unfolds. This image is helpful for me now, feeling the unfolding of care and concern for a world in anxious anticipation of so much.

I was able to speak yesterday with two married friends who are both doctors. Because of their recent travel for vacation, their medical facility asked them to stay home for two weeks. They are working their way though Netflix offerings among other things. But before they left here for their new home, they left me with many of their plants. I’ve done my best to protect them from the sun and to keep them watered. I’ve been more successful with some than others. But two days ago, a day before I got to speak with them, a plant I thought was lost to us all did this:

In the coming weeks, so much new will be happening for all of us. Even now, especially now, though, it’s essential that we keep focusing on what it means to create the conditions for growth, for flourishing, for compassion. There may come times to act boldly and with purpose for those in our many varied and interconnected communities. And these actions may well be challenging and require sacrifice. But until we face those questions, I ask you to consider what is blossoming for you. I ask you to consider how something new is growing from what has gone before. And I ask you to share what you find with those you love. So that we may come to know a time when compassion so uniformly impacted our entire human family.

And may it ever be so,

Rev. T. J.

2 Responses to “Weekly Message from T. J.

  1. Please continue to write these missives. They feed my spirit. I am filled with gratitude to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.