One of our dear Friends at West Hills Friends recently sent me (and some others) a poem she wrote following the decision from the NWYM Board of Elders to expell us from NWYM. Here it is:
THE WALL AND THE DOOR
by Carol Bosworth
A long-lived community
in a changing world
can be too accustomed to
so when change comes
to brace up the old
not seeing that the cracks
want to become a
and after whatever happens next,
we may not recognize ourselves.
As the crack widens into a door
and part of the wall moves,
straining and grinding,
hinges taking up the burden and weight
the wall is not a wall now:
it is an open door.
The stones that bear the shifting weight,
with hinges grinding,
are the lives of some of us who
are chosen to bear the crack
and the grinding of the hinge
and we become
the grounded people
of a new community.
For the last few weeks I cannot shake the idea that there is a new story unfolding. I wrote about this recently on this blog. I spoke about it (sort of) at West Hills a few weeks ago. This morning I sat in my spiritual direction session and bumbled on about it. I cannot seem to find the heart of what I am trying to say besides, "There is a new story unfolding. Sometimes when a new story is unfolding it can feel challenging and scary to other people."
Then I read Carol's poem. It captures so beautifully another way of looking at what is going on in the Church, and our country. The line, "not seeing that the cracks want to become a door" hit me in that place where the only thing you can say is, "YES!"
Leonard Cohen wrote, "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
Just the other day I was weeding in our backyard. We have a giant concrete slab that covers part of the ground. It only takes a few days for the grass to push its way up through the cracks in the concrete, and I am back to pulling it all out again. On this particular day I was weeding close to one of our tomato plants. Just before I yanked at the plant growing from the crack I noticed it was actually another tomato plant. I followed it to the root, and sure enough growing from the tiniest of cracks was a tomato vine several feet in length.
The light got in. The water got in. Growth and life in a seemingly impossible place.
What if the crack that we see is not threatening to bring down the whole house, but rather to create a new door? What if the crack in the concrete is nurturing unexpected life? What if the new story that is unfolding feels like a crack, but is actually a new opening, a new way of inviting life into the world?
I want to be in that place, a grounded person of a new community. I want to embrace the unfolding of the new story. I want to make space in my story for a new one. I want to sit aside my story for a while to listen deeply to the story of another. I want to create open doors where there used to be none.
The new story that is unfolding is a door. Welcome.