Friday, August 15, 2014

SQT: On Floods, Suffering, Surrender, Insanity, 6 Degrees of RobinWilliams and Songful Dreams

Did you hear we had a flood in Detroit? It's about all we can think about since we are still in the midst of cleaning out.

The clean-out has been exhausting, but it wasn't until we took the old infant carrier to the curb that I actually cried. Yes, I know we could never use it again anyway as it's likely about 8 years old since we were gifted it from a friend. It doesn't really matter. It was what carried my babies home from the hospital. Visions of my now-almost-in-school Gia at a few days old, dwarfed by the then-giant seat, memories of the drive home {especially hitting bumps and wincing in pain}, the first moment we brought her in the door and the panicked "what do we do now?" that fleeted through our minds. All of that came rushing back. And I might have cried a little. And that is okay. Goodbye little seat. Time really does fly.

One side effect of disaster, at least in our neck of the woods, has been that more people are out and about in the neighborhood. Sure, they're hauling their sewage drenched basements to the curb, or still pumping out water, but they're out there. And people are talking. And helping. It has cemented something I suspected all along. Suffering unites us in our humanity, and more deeply it unites with Christ who is the source of our truest humanity. In our suffering, God surprises us with His grace and glory, making good out of everything, even s%!# filled basements.

The surprise I came home to dropped off by a friend to help
sweeten the blow of the basement stank. Now she found
out they have a ton of mold in their basement. Prayers for them please!

I've also been thinking about what a difference a day can make... Sunday we were enjoying a tasty brunch and hanging out the kiddie pool, and Monday we had more water than we ever wanted in our basement.

Ok, enough about the water woes. Today we had a staff in-service and I was asked to find a prayer on surrender. There was a prayer of surrender to the Holy Spirit I was thinking of, but when I asked my pal Google to locate it, old Googs one-upped me and found me this prayer instead, which now is at the top of my list of favorite prayers. Given that today is the Feast of the Assumption, it seems fitting to share a prayer about total surrender of self, that we might offer our whole yes to the will of God as Mary did.

Dear Lord Jesus, it is my will to surrender to you everything that I am and everything that I am striving to be. I open the deepest recesses of my heart to you and invite your Holy Spirit to dwell inside of me. You are the salvation of my soul; I hold nothing back from you.

I offer you my mind, heart, body, soul, spirit, emotions, all my hopes, plans, and dreams. I surrender to you my past, present, and future problems, habits, character defects, attitudes, livelihood, resources, finances, occupation, skills, vocation, and business endeavors. I surrender everything unto your compassionate care. I give you my home, marriage, sexuality, relationships, friendships, and children. I surrender all my weaknesses, strengths, fears, and insecurities to you. In sickness and in health, in the good times and bad, I belong to you. Please transform my life into whatever most pleases you. Transform me into the child of God that you have intended me to be.
In your most holy name we pray. Amen. 

School starts soon for our first born. I got a letter from her pre-school about a new-family orientation. It begins. It was such a welcoming letter, and part of their welcome to new families is to pair them with an established school family for the year to ease the transition. What a lovely idea and great way to build community. I might have come close to shedding a tear. It's been an emotional week.

Once I got my head above water from all the muck in the basement (hahahah, head above water...get it?), I was pulled right back under with all the chaos on my newsfeed. What the what is going on with the world? I don't honestly even have words for what is going on in Ferguson, MO, or in response to the Walmart shooting. I really don't right now, but thanks to a friend I did read a post by someone who I feel nailed every issue right smack on the head.

Of course, then every two seconds we hear about Robin Williams' suicide. How very truly tragic. What saddens me the most is how surprised everyone seems to be that someone who was a comic by trade and brought such joy could be so very distraught himself. It saddens me that we have become so focused on the surface that we forget how deeply the waters of our spirit run within, sometimes in quiet turmoil. I won't even get into my disappointment with the judgement running rampant on every angle of his death. A man has died - this is not a story, this is not a cause, this is a man who brought joy to those around him but deeply suffered. A man. With a family. With friends. With a kind heart. Yeah, those stories are making me cry. While I never knew him myself, I will throw one more log on the fire that was the generous spirit of the man.

My Godbrother was an actor (sometimes struggling) in Cali in the late 80s/early 90s. He happened to get a role as an extra on the set of Hook back in the day. We tend to think of extras as just faces in the crowd, blending in, going unseen. Somehow, Stevie met Robin, and made enough of an impression that Mr. Williams remembered him a few years later when he passed from AIDS related complications. I don't remember all the details, whether he attended the funeral or just sent a long note to the family, but I remember my Godmother was so very touched that he had remembered her son. He spoke of Steve's spirit, his soul, his kindness, his beauty as a fellow human being that he'd had the privilege of coming across. Stevie was an extra, and Mr. Robin Williams, a lead actor, knew enough of him to know he had passed and know how to contact his family. He took the time to offer his condolences. This was the spirit of the man who was tormented by his own demons. I hope, as his spirit and legacy is remembered, that the generosity of his spirit will set an example for others who achieve the same success. For Mr. Williams, it seems that people were just people...and by that I don't mean "just" in a diminutive sense. Rather, it seems that his legacy is one that shows us how it looks when a man, regardless of his stature, views all people with the dignity they deserve. That loss is a great one in our world today. May God grant him mercy and eternal rest, and may perpetual light shine upon him.

EXTRA (because why end on sorrowful note when you can end with joy?):
I have this great dream. It will likely NEVER come to fruition, and may be not the most reverent of dreams. Yet...I have this dream. One day, I will be at a Mass honoring Mary, and THIS will the version of Salve Regina that is sung. If we are honest, it's the version that's in my head no matter which rendition is sung, however slowly. You know what this is. You do. Now sing to the rafters, clap those hands, and hit it, girls!

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1 comment:

  1. I love that prayer of surrender; I heard it first on a silent retreat...glad the great flood issues of 2014 are resolving for you guys:)