Each month we have a new spotlight on our Theme, Plate Partner, and featured Small Group.
Let’s just say that we’re skeptical about rushing in to fix things.
We Unitarian Universalists understand the urge to restore what once was. Nothing is more human. Who doesn’t want to reverse the damage? Who doesn’t hold on to the humpty dumpty hope that all can be put back together again? But our faith teaches us that this is just not how the world works. Transition and change rule the flow of life. There is no going back. The current of time is just too strong.
And so the wholeness offered us is not that returning our lives to their original state but working with what remains to make something new. The shards are not pieces of a puzzle that needs put perfectly back together, but building blocks waiting to be molded into a yet to be imagined form. To be made whole again is to be reorganized, not restored.
Another way to put this is to say that there is freedom in the breaking. The cracks make room for creativity. That’s not to minimize the pain. And it’s certainly not a way of justifying tragedy as “part of God’s plan.” Rather, it’s a call for us to perceive the broken pieces of our lives as more than just a pile of worthless and ruined rubble. “Look closer,” says our faith, “that ash, if worked with, can give birth to a Phoenix.”
So, what piles of rubble in your life need revisited? What longing for what was needs let go so a new wholeness can emerge?
And how might you break open even further? Because that’s part of this too, isn’t it? “Your broken pieces are more than rubble” is not the only counterintuitive thing our faith tells us about wholeness. It also urges us to “Crack wider!”
As odd as it sounds, we were meant to be broken, broken open to be exact. Over and over again, our faith reminds us that protecting our personal wholeness is only half the game. The equally important part of life’s journey is about letting in the wholeness of world!
It’s about cultivating cracks on purpose. It’s about becoming intentionally exposed. As Leonard Cohen famously put it “Cracks are how the light gets in.”
Broken hearts hurt but they also let in and allow us to connect with the pain of others. Protected hearts may seem safe, but our armor only ends up being a prison. It’s one of the most important but paradoxical spiritual truths there is: Broken people end up bigger people.
So, in the end, maybe that’s our most important “wholeness question”: How are your cracks inviting you to become larger? What cracks do you need to cultivate on purpose?
From Soul Matters
CATCH is a strong partner in the Continuum of Care’s efforts to prevent and end homelessness in Ada County; with four programs under our umbrella. Our Path Home (2018) is an in house, 36 agency collaborative housing project that helps develop individualized housing plans with future households. Rapid Rehousing (2006) focuses on helping families develop a long-term plan for stability, identify housing options, help with application fees, deposits and rental assistance for 1-9 months, depending on the needs of the family. The Linda Fund (2017) is a program started in 2017 that provides first month’s rent/deposit assistance to households that have sufficient income to pay rent on their own, but need some assistance with move in costs. And finally, CATCH provides a Housing Specialist for New Path Community Housing; a 40-unit apartment complex designed to house the community’s most vulnerable citizens and provide the on-site supports that they need to maintain their housing.
Q-UU-ilter meetings are project-driven. We meet a couple of times a month as we plan and complete a quilting project, then take a break until the next project. We complete some of the sewing together as a group at BUUF, while other work is done in members’ homes. Q-UU-ilter projects include:
- We develop a quilt to raffle each year at the BUUF auction, meeting in the spring to choose a quilt pattern and color scheme. Much of the piece-work is done at home, then is brought together to sew into a single quilt-top. Raffle ticket sales from these quilts have raised over $1000 each year, supporting BUUF’s sponsorship ads on BSU radio and other appropriate outlets.
- In recent years we made the banners you’ll find at the front of the sanctuary at BUUF. Three pairs of banners celebrate fall, winter, and spring respectively.
- A few years ago we sewed a quilt for our partner church in Meszko, choosing a “sampler” pattern to demonstrate traditional American quilting. A mini-sampler is available in the BUUF library, along with a photo collage illustrating the project.
We are currently starting our raffle quilt for the 2020 auction, so now is a good time to join us. For more information, contact Harriet Shaklee, email@example.com.