Sunday, January 11, 2009

The whisper of the honeysuckle

Our weather in Fort Worth has been variable, to say the least. One day it's 80 degrees, the next it's 20, then up to 50, down to 30, back up to 70, and so on, until it is a miracle we aren't all sick all the time.

Today it was sunny and just nearly warm -- as long as you were in the sun. But the wind made shady spots too cold to be comfortable for long without a jacket.
Then, as the day lengthened toward another chilly night, the winter honeysuckle released its fragrance, sending sweetness out onto the air like a whispered message of hope.

The spiritual weather has been variable as well. It's mostly sunny, with some shady spots too cold to remain in for long in comfort.
In some parts of the diocese, it's partly cloudy -- in others, partly sunny.
In the intact parishes, those congregations who have their rectors, their buildings, their altar linens, their stained glass, their kneelers, etc., things are more often than not sunny and warm.
For the displaced congregations, fast moving pressure systems can change things quickly.
Worshipping in a temporary space, where you have to haul in an altar, linens, prayer books, hymnals, etc. for every service because there is no place to store things on site; worshipping, in some cases, with a different priest every week; worshipping without those loved ones who have chosen to leave the Episcopal Church -- all this means that the emotional weather can get heavy indeed.
Waves of grief can be followed by gusts of anger which in turn can be followed by sweet breezes of optimism -- all in the space of an hour or less.
Weariness makes everyone more susceptible to heart sickness. So people work to ward it off by doses of love and humor.
Most of the time it works.
Other times, one sits alone, waiting for the whisper of the honeysuckle.


Lauralew said...

What a great metaphor. Thanks for this--it is so lovely.

James said...

The metaphor brought back so many memories of our winter honeysuckle!

Please remember that thre is another sweet scent arising, too, the prayers of all of who are support the faithful in your Diocese.

"Let my prayer rise before thee as incense...."