Category Archives: meditations

It’s Hard To Hit A Moving Target

For a day in your courts is better
     than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
     than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Psalm 84:10*

Finally made it back to St. Thatguy and dealt with all the “Where have you been?” questions in true Mary Sue fashion– I showed up late, sat in the back, and didn’t even go into the fellowship hall after service, I bailed for my car.

One of the issues with showing up late is that I didn’t get a service bulletin. Which made me a wee bit nervous, but I discovered that in the last four years of being Episcopalian, I’ve finally memorized the Nicene Creed via osmosis. I knew when to sit, when to stand, and where in the BCP to find Form IV.

It was sliding back into a groove, it was coming back to the comfortable, it really was better than a thousand Sundays sleeping in.

Then I had to go to work.

Things at the Big Blue Box come in two sizes: Tiny and Huge. They also come in two types: Sharp and Heavy. In the Staff Caf at any hour of the day, there’s usually a groan session where people are showing off their war wounds (I’ve got a nifty scar on my hand from a midbeam and an open incident report from when I attempted to spurn the laws of physics and have my shin and the trailer hitch of a customer’s truck occupy the same point in space/time). And a goodly portion of those injuries (I’d say about 30-40%) come from customers attempting to ‘help’.

Because somehow, when I’ve got a 100 lb. dresser precariously balanced on one shoulder and I’m trying to put it into a cart, pulling the cart out from under the dresser is ‘helping’.

I know it’s not really the customer’s fault. The customer is trying to predict which way I’m going to move, and I’m trying to predict which way the cart is going to roll when 100lbs of MDF and birch laminate slam into it. The best thing for both me and the customer would be if they held the cart perfectly still, then I could drop my load without fear of it falling on someone’s (read: my) foot.

A dear friend of mine who’s Orthodox was visiting me recently and she wandered over to my prayer corner and started flipping through my Book of Common Prayer and she remarked, “It’s so confusing! Everything changes!”

“Not really,” I said. “Certain things are always the same.”

That’s something I think people who create ‘innovative services’ forget about my generation: Everything around us changes at a speed that’s absolutely ridiculous. Ten years ago, I thought it was wild I could download one song to my computer in about two hours, and right now I’m listening to an iPod with 28 hours of music on it that swapped from my computer in thirty minutes. Those of us who grew up with the tech appear to be adapting faster, but given half a chance we’ll go back to the interfaces that we are familiar and comfortable with (‘fess up, how many of you Windows XP users have it set up visually like Windows 98?)

When everything around you is moving so accursedly fast, there is something comforting in the old rituals and familiar rites. Being able to pop back in after a time away and know that certain things are going to be the exact same as they were for my grandmother and her grandmother**.

Yeah, I’m talking about years and generations, sure, things that are hard to quantify on Annual Reports. Time moves much more slowly these days than the world, and we rush to punch as much into our weeks as possible. Is it too much to ask for one sacred space where we can walk in cold from the street and be warmed in the same old ways as our ancestors?

*Yes, that link takes you to the DO lectionary and you have to scroll waaaay down to see Psalm 84. Suck it up. Why did I do it that way? ‘Cause I find it terribly amusing that the first hit for “Psalm 84 Book of Common Prayer” spits out the DO lectionary for mah birfday!

**You know, if they’d been, like, Anglican and some junk.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under meditations, my life, Ordinary Time

Why do they make it so hard to go to church? (2)

Decided Saturday night that I needed to go to church. Having not been in a long, long time. So I checked online for the nearest Episcopal parish (NEP) in Portland, OR, and made a note of their address (half a mile from my house) and their start time of 10am (an hour after St. Thatguy started, which was good from my point of view, my point of view being I got home from work on Saturday night at 11.30pm).

So I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and my hair, and was half an hour early to the NEP.

There wasn’t a single car in the parking lot. Not a blessed one. Now, this place according to both their web site and the sign out front, had an 8am service. Sandwich boards gave the phone number for the Co-op preschool, but the sign on the side of the building said the later service stated at 10.30.

I drove around, trying to identify if there was another point of entry, you know, the secret door where you had to know the secret Episcopal handshake to get into NEP. Nope, just the one out front. So I went and parked near enough to it where I could keep an eye on the comings and goings, but far enough away I didn’t look like an undercover cop.

I sat there in my car for an hour, from 9.30 to 10.30, and not a blessed soul drove into the parking lot nor entered the door of the church. At 10.30, I found out why no one had entered the single identifiable door of the church; when I walked up to it, it was locked.

By that point, I was running into a time crunch. Any 11am service would make me late for work. Thank goodness St. Crankypants* Roman Catholic Church has a 10.30am service. I got there at 10.38am, and walked through the door right as they were starting the Gospel reading. Exactly an hour later (including a homily about perserverance I needed to hear, the parish announcements, and the eternal internal argument I have with my inner child at RC churches, “He just said this sacrifice is for everyone! Why can’t I go up for the Eucharist?”) I was out the door and nearly stampeded by the people who wanted to get to their cars much quicker than I did.

But you know what I’ll remember for the next few weeks? The way my heart just fell out of my chest when I went to pull that door open on NEP and it was locked.

*a commentary on the saint, not the people

2 Comments

Filed under I'm Just A Girl, In Christian Love, me being myself, meditations

Thinky Thoughts on Coming Out

I didn’t read all my blogs yesterday, which means I kind of forgot that October 11th is National Coming Out Day (if you’re new, hi, welcome, I’m a big ol’ bisexual) until I got to the Big Blue Box and several of the Steering Group (read: upper management) were wearing ginormous ALLY stickers.

Some days I really heart the company I work for.

But then comes the morning, and I wonder about those who yesterday passed by as just another normal day in the struggle to be themselves without letting others know who they are. It’s not fun.

Then I’m thinking that, well, when’s the day for those people? When can they know they’re supported and loved no matter what? Because my God doesn’t live just inside or just outside a closet, my God’s in the closet, outside the closet, around the closet, made the wood for the closet door, sticks his metaphorical head in every so often and asks, “‘Sallright? Need anything?”…

The closet’s not the nicest accomodations, but it’s where some people live, and we’re called as Christians to meet people where they live, take them the Gospel if they live in mansions on a hill, shanties in a dump, or even a closet.

So’s I’m declaring October 12th Day of Global Prayer for the Closeted. And here’s my prayer:

May God grant you all the strength, love, and peace you need, and then some more. Amen.

2 Comments

Filed under meditations, Ordinary Time

Hate. The. World!

And not in the way that Christians are supposed to hate it.
I hate the world so much right now. Ohemgee.

I want to set it on fire.
Confound it, who hid my matches?

I’m going to run off to a mountaintop and form my own church.
First Church of Mary Sue. All are welcome, as long as you’re Mary Sue.

I want to hit people with sticks until the stupid runs out their ears.
Confound it, who hid my sticks?

Oh, for the love of Pete, not another financial appeal.
I’ve given until it hurts. I’m waiting to see what happens after that.

I’m waiting to see if it ever stops hurting.

Comments Off on Hate. The. World!

Filed under I'm Just A Girl, meditations, The Current Unpleasantness

Thoughts on the Occasion of Someone Crying

Oh crap, is she crying?

Crap, she is crying.

What do I do? What am I supposed to do? Is there something I should do?

Should I just ignore it? I mean, what if she wants to be alone right now? My office iskinda far away from hers…

Jesus, I can’t just sit here. Something in me just wants to go and hug, but we’re not really at the hugging stage of our relationship. Where’s the Kleenex box? There used to be one around here somewhere. I’ll take the kleenex in and…

…and say ‘Is everything ok?’ is that really the best I can come up with? Hello, of course everything’s not OK, duh, there’s CRYING.

Ok, here’s the Kleenex. Go into her office. Hand her the Kleenex box.

Can’t plan it all out. There’s no script. Ask, “Can I get you something?”

Dive off into the deep waters. Keep your mouth shut. Beat the cliches to death with a big stick.

Listen.

1 Comment

Filed under meditations

A Christian Response to Munchausen By Internet

Another, secular gaming community I am involved heavily with has just undergone an instance of what is coming to be called Munchausen by Internet.

Go read the article I linked. No, really, do it right now.

Oh, fine, for those of you who can’t be arsed, Munchausen by Internet is when someone creates an online persona who is constantly undergoing trials and tribulations so they can get attention and sympathy. And, usually when their stories get a little thin, these personas ‘die’.

I’ve seen this a lot over the last fifteen years that I’ve spent online. In the gaming community, once the persona died, other suspicious people started combing the newspapers for obituaries. None turned up, and neither did any police reports or news articles about the grisly accident the persona’s significant other reported to us. Shenanigans were called, and the persona was outed by the gaming community as a sock puppet of another player.

The gaming community is feeling shocked and betrayed, naturally. Some people who sent money and gifts are demanding refunds they will probably not get. And in the chat room last night, the conversation was all about this persona and the betrayal of trust.

I was (for once) actually playing the game and mostly ignoring the conversation until someone pinged me and asked point blank, “Aren’t you pissed off?”

“Not really,” I typed back.

The entire chat room was confused by that statement, and pings rolled in demanding an explanation.

So I cut and pasted the following:

Look, I’ve been praying for [this persona] for weeks now. I’ll still keep praying for [this persona], because it’s terribly obvious they are desperately lonely.

There are a lot of people on this gaming site for whom this is their first experience with MbP, and they are now withdrawing from friendships to protect themselves. And a lot of people who have been burned before and spent the whole buildup to this week’s crash being cynical and inciting the distrust are now saying “I told you so.”

But we’re Christians, and we’ve got that annoying call to forgive others. It means sucking it up, stepping over our bruised pride (because that’s what’s really stinging, the fact we got duped) and saying, “I forgive you for lying.”

Which doesn’t mean ‘Forget it ever happened’, even though it’s starting to take on those connotations in popular culture. It’s unlikely the person from my gaming board will come back, but if they do, I will extend a hand of friendship again but take anything they say taken with a whole shaker of salt.

And pray, pray, pray, ’cause there’s nothing else I can do.

Comments Off on A Christian Response to Munchausen By Internet

Filed under light reading, meditations, prayer

Things I’m thinking about.

– Since I’m only part white, does that mean I’m only partially Satanic?.
 – The ECLA Worldwide Assembly has followed in the footsteps of a whole bunch of churches (mine included) and wussed out. Yeah, yeah, pastoral reasons, bla bla bla, listening process, bla bla bla, I don’t give a flying fedora right now. Instead of sucking it up and saying one way or the other and then getting on with life, they’re pulling the band-aid off slowly by basically saying, “Well, if you want to be gay, your local leaders will tell you whether or not it’s Biblical and you’re a human being deserving of love.” Hate to bust your bubble, punkins, I am a human. Therefore deserving of love. If you don’t like that, take it up with God and leave me alone, ‘kay?

– Everyone’s talking about Assumption/Dormition/Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was yesterday. I celebrated my name day feast by going home, throwing my uniforms in the laundry, taking cold medicine, and going to bed early. But I’ve always wondered; how much of what Mary’s supposed to have said in the Bible did she really say? I mean, if an Angel in Glory stopped by my house when I was a teenager and said, “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the LORD is with thee”,  my response would have been, “Um… okay?”

– I think the BVM is one of those saints who gets the girly workover a lot. “Oh, she was so submissive to God and did such a good job as a single mother raising the Son of God with a deadbeat biological father, and she never raised her voice and was always sunshine and roses even when her son was breaking her poor heart.” Yeah. Did you miss the part when Jesus did his walkabout in Jerusalem and she finally found him, what’s the first thing she did? Went into a guilt-trip scold.

– I’ve gone from no jobs to two jobs. Both are temporary, but I’m working about 60 hours a week for the next three weeks (I’m working 13 hours today alone! Yay?) So if it’s quiet around here, that’s why. I am still thinking about How to Be An Episcopalian in Daily Life.

– I’m also wondering what you priestly folks think is the most important thing you learned in seminary.

-And finally, I’ve been toying with the idea of podcasting. I don’t know why. I think, though, there’s a dearth of podcasts of the ‘liberal’ Anglican/Episcopalian variety.  *shrug* We’ll see.

3 Comments

Filed under me being myself, meditations