What happened was so subtle I almost missed it.
Every once in a while, I’m asked to preach at my church. After I finished writing my homily for Sunday, I joined Fred for a walk. I shared with him what I was going to say as we sauntered along.
Away from my notes and hearing it with Fred, I made a connection I hadn’t noticed before. It was significant, and, when I got home, I revised what I planned to say.
Looking back on it now, I don’t immediately recall what that new revelation was. I only remember that one moment I didn’t see it, and the next moment I did.
It wasn’t until I stepped into the next moment that I had another view.
We can only see to the edge, to the horizon of what we know, but as we keep walking, more is revealed.
I stand in one place and want to know now, see now, understand now, and I can’t. Then I take a step in the unknowing, and I see a little more.
This is pivotal because it makes me realize that all I see, feel, and know at this moment is not all there is to see, feel and know. It’s not all God sees, feels, and knows.
It invites me to trust that there is more going on than I’m aware of. God sees what’s on the other side of the horizon. God is there and here.
Knowing that each moment has a new horizon and each horizon a new view gives me more compassion for my limits and deepens my desire to look for what new thing God wants to reveal that I couldn’t know before.
Years ago, when Fred and I set off on Tieras with our children, aged seven and ten, we planned to be gone for a few years, perhaps even sail around the world. We learned as much as we could about what to carry with us, what route to take, how to clear customs in each country, where to find supplies, how to communicate back home. The list was endless. I wanted to be able to solve every problem before it arrived.
I’m glad we were well prepared for most eventualities, but there were some things we couldn’t know until we arrived at our destination.
Life is like that. We find the road by walking, the known in one hand and unknown in the other.
And God? God, who knows all, is with us–within and without, above and below, behind and before us–leading the way.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
–Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
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“On Saturday, November 20 people around the world will mark Trans Day of Remembrance,” writes Bishop John Stephens to the parishioners of the Diocese of Westminster in the Anglican Church in Canada.
“This day began in the late 1990s to commemorate the life of Rita Hester, an American trans woman, who was murdered in Boston in 1998. Her murder remains unsolved. The violence of her death and the lack of media and community attention to her murder led to candlelight vigils and memorials that have spread around the world and that honor thousands of other trans people who had died, committed suicide or been subjected to violence. Canada is by no means exempt from this sad record.
“Trans Day of Remembrance is also a day to commit and recommit to ending transphobic violence and discrimination.”
Bishop Stephens goes on to say, “We as members of the church need to confess how we have contributed to the situation faced by trans people. How have our thoughts, words, and deeds, and the things we have done and left undone allowed this violence and discrimination to continue? How often have we failed to see the trans people in our families, our parishes, our communities as fully human and worthy of our concern, support, respect, and love? What steps can we take as individuals and parishes to ensure safety for trans people? How can we educate ourselves about gender identity and expression in ways that change the church, our societal institutions, and our personal understanding of gender and identity?
“I would urge you to seek out and participate in events being held in your area or online to mark Trans Day of Remembrance this Saturday. Bring that experience to your justice work in our parishes and in our diocese, challenging all of us to become allies or to become better allies to members of the Trans communities. How can we in the church chart a different path of love, living out the grace of God?
“I encourage you to remember the trans community in your Prayers of the People this Sunday.” For more information, go to https://cupe.ca/event/trans-day-remembrance.