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Gliding into the Unified Field

  • Posted on Oct 9, 2012

My favorite spiritual author of the year is Richard Rohr.  In his book Falling Upwards:  A Spirituality of the Two Halves of Life, he talks about discovering the “unified field.”  It’s a term coined by no less than Einstein and refers to “that single world of elementary forces, principles, and particles that he (Einstein) assumed held together the entire universe of space-time.”  Rohr believes (me too) that the unified field is found in our daily lives in moments of grace in the everyday.  Rohr calls it by a fancy name–“incarnational mysticism.”  This is the moment when we KNOW we are connected to something larger and greater and more amazing than we can imagine.  These moments come to us often in the very moments that seem most chaotic. 

On Sunday, we baptized June Melchior.  It was a busy morning.  I was rushing between the early service at 8 am and teaching about Odysseus’ journey at 9:30.  Did I remember my laptop and would the power point work with the projector?  As I vested for the 10:30 service, I trusted everything was ready, but with the altar guild busy at the rummage sale and the junior choristers singing, the usual preparation was rushed for everyone concerned.  I checked my sermon notes in the pulpit. I looked out into the congregation.  The baptismal family was there.   In a moment, we were processing to the font.  In a moment, I was reaching out to hold June to baptize her.  She was wearing a beautiful, fluffy, orange and yellow dress.  The tuille crinkled against my arm.  And then our eyes met.  Those trusting baby eyes.  June craned her head to see the water. In a moment, we were singing “I want to walk as a child of the light” as June and her family walked round the church.  The warmth and light of that moment of time felt like gliding into the unified field.  Like gliding home to God.

On Sunday, our reading from Hebrew Scripture was from the beginning of the Book of Job.  When we find Job, he has lost everything.  He is sitting in the ashes, scraping at his sores with a piece of broken pottery.  He is miserable.  And he is miserable for many chapters.  But as the book progresses, Job does not run away from his chaos.  He waits.  He waits on God.  He waits on his friends.  At some point in his chaos, grace will glide in. Not in a neat package with a bow.  But in the messiness of life.

This coming Saturday will be the Festival on the Hill–Bolton Hill’s great fall street festival.  It will be a amazing amalgamation of music, food, crafts and people.  That morning before the Festival is in full swing, a group of Memorialites will enter a different kind of chaos when we travel to work on the Garden Project at St Luke’s Carey Street.  Just a few blocks from Bolton Hill, we will enter a world of boarded-up buildings.  A place where addiction and gangs often carry the day.  But the unified field is there.  It is there every weekday afternoon when an after-school program opens it doors to the children and youth of the neighborhood.  The unified field is trying to break through and will not be denied.  And one way God will break through is through our presence.  All it takes is your hands and hearts, a shovel and some energy to dig holes for fruit trees and build raised beds for next year’s garden.  A way to show that the unified field is there—even and especially in the chaos.  Join Memorial’s new missioner for Outreach, Youth and Hospitality–Zenobia Taylor-Weiss–as she leads this effort with our youth and young adults.  All are welcome.  All it takes is showing up.  All it takes is not giving up.  The moment of unified grace will come.  Effortlessly.  Gliding into our lives.  Connecting us to God and one another.

Want to help on Saturday?  E-mail Zenobia at [email protected] com.  See you there!