I am sitting here on this night when all the Hell of this despicable, corrupt, understaffed administration has broken loose — or looser? — and I am aware that my mind is a fuzz of nervous energy and questions.
I am on sabbatical and therefore do not have to say anything on Sunday about Iran, Australia, Puerto Rico or any local issue, pastoral situation or anything else.
All I can say from this vantage point of two months away from the pulpit is that you are all f***ing heroes for getting into that pulpit or up on that bimah or sitting with your sangha or gathering your circle and having to have something to say about which you have prayed, thought, considered, discussed with colleagues, and wrung your hands over.
My body, mind and soul are slowly decompressing over this period of blessed rest (I mean, I’m busy, I’m reading, I’m learning, I’m traveling, I’m working on a book, but I’m doing it at a gentle pace and relieved of all pastoral and preaching duties). I am realizing how much psychic strain we carry in the responsibility of preaching: the sermonic mind ALWAYS whirring, the obligation of forever delving into sacred and secular texts seeking a Word to give to our people… the creative pressure of crafting a powerful liturgy. The showing up.
So tonight, no tips on how to show up, no admonition to shine your shoes and give yourself a facial or please get that floppy, huge suit jacket tailored for God’s sake. Just my solidarity and gratitude and amazement for you, for my colleagues, for those who have humbly consented to respond to the call to be the ones who have Something To Say about all of this. And it’s not just “something;” it is something in conversation with ancient tradition, it is learned analysis of eternal truths and contemporary complexities, it is something said in love and it is something said from the heart and not just the head.
Bless you. Take care of yourselves. May Holy Wisdom be with you in ways you can easily sense and rely upon.