I haven’t posted anything in a while, and the last thing I posted was incredibly bitter.
I wanted to post something just to indicate to anyone following this blog that, though I stand by everything I said in the last post, and though I certainly believe that there is a lot to be said and done in response to that, I am still moving forward and keeping busy with the normal parts of life too.
So here’s my most recent post for the Greater Indy Habitat blog. Like the last one, this is not the version that’s ending up on the website, but it’s the version I like most:
In my previous post, I discussed the practical value of working alongside people from different backgrounds as a way of pursuing our Biblical conviction in learning how to “maintain constant love for one another.”
As I write this follow up, I sit on the other end of that work. The house is almost complete, and soon it will be dedicated and moved into. I have had the opportunity to see and hear the process of its construction from beginning to end. I’ve had the privilege to hear how people have reacted to it, and I want to talk about that now. I want to tell you what we’ve created, beyond just the homes, beyond even the hope for a stronger, more unified Image of God in humanity.
I want to talk about the sacred perpetuity we found- the sense of eternal value we experienced through the work we shared, the time we spent, and the place we made.
At an interfaith discussion I recently attended, we focused on the concept of sacred space. We took time to learn from one another, and pursue the various avenues of thought that led to what each of us understood of sacredness. We discussed how we honored that understanding, individually, collectively, and cross-culturally. It was a beautiful conversation, and it challenged and invigorated my thought processes in some wonderful ways, but it didn’t quite satisfy my personal relationship to what I hold as sacred.
The discussion focused on sacred space, but what I find equally important, and perhaps even more significant in my own experience, is sacred time. The word sacred is defined as “set apart,” but how are we to know what to set apart in order to create or perpetuate that sacredness? All too often, we find ourselves attacking one another’s deepest religious values, simply because of our misunderstandings on how to approach sacredness. I believe we are called to set something apart, or hold it as sacred, when we find connection to God through it, or else that apart-settedness becomes entirely meaningless, and potentially dangerous. However, living as imperfect humans in a finite world, it can be a struggle to know whether something actually provides connection to God in some manner, or if we just want it to do so. In my life, I hold the things I take as most sacred that way because of their ability to tap into eternity; because of how the impact of the time, or place, that surrounds it is able to become eternal in the instant it happens.
…which is something that sounds cool, but doesn’t actually make a lot of sense. I think that sacredness, because it is “of God,” in that weird, infinite/inconceivable way, is a real bear to try to understand- much less discuss in practical terms.
But I can say this:
What we’ve done through this Interfaith Build is sacred. We set it apart, because the impact it has for Rapheal and Brittney, the homeowners, is too massive to describe. We set it apart, because the way we were able to come together and complete the Image of God in our unity and service is too holy to understand fully. We set it apart, because the understanding and love that was able to grow for one another there is too profound, and too vital in our efforts to further the Empire of God here on Earth, to put into simple human words.
We set it apart, not from one another, but for one another, and with one another, because it is of God, it is eternal and incomprehensible, and it is very good.
The work we shared; the time we spent; the place we made; is sacred, and the thing that matters now that it’s almost done, is to continue. Let us continue building homes, let us continue to maintain constant love for one another, and let us continue engaging in this sacred perpetuity.