Monday, August 13, 2012

John 6:51-58

Pentecost +12 - Year B

How do you describe your presence? Are you a feaster? Are you the feast? Gourmand? Gobbler? The main course?

How do you respond to the self-description of another? Trust their insight? Question their self-understanding? Take it literally? Appreciate the art-form?

We can argue all we want about defining folks, but the first consideration is to give a benefit-of-the-doubt to self-identity. Then we can begin to see how that engages over time and beyond self.

No matter what the image used, we all come to every identity with experience that leads us to judge the worth of a self-description. We keep wanting to tell another who they are.

Knowing that raw human material is shaped by the family and culture in which they grow, we might hear again what it means to respond as a child - learning from the identities around us rather than deciding who has come the closest, according to our criteria, in identifying themselves most truthfully. We want to take the gold medal in other-definition.

To allow another to be present on their terms is to participate in heaven. Yes, even delusional understandings or wildly unrealistic identities. Putting that aside, now we can get down to asking better questions and listening for clearer responses.

- - -

You say you are heavenly bread? 
OK. Now, say some more. 
   An element catalyzed to energy. 
So you might also be light, a constant squaring mass?
   Sufficient to see Neighbors everywhere.
Condensing eternity to this moment?
   Myself in you and vice versa.
You seem comfortable with that, but I’m not.
   I could use some peanut butter; you OK with being that?
How about milk or honey?
Hmm, from other chosen to naturally sweet.
Quite a shift, I’ll let it settle for awhile.

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