Sunday's Thought: Silly and Proud!

 Brian Doyle, whose work I'm a big fan of,  wrote about meeting Bishop Desmond Tutu in Portland back in 2015, and shared this impromptu riff Tutu gave on faith, "The world will say you are silly! Be proud of that!"  Doyle said he didn't write it all down, as he was caught by surprise when the Bishop suddenly began an impromptu "not sermon", but this is what Tutu said, to the best of Doyle's recollection- a paraphrase- but one he believed was worth repeating, and I do too--  now more than ever:

We say all these things that we believe, but do we believe them really? Because they do not make any sense, of course. We say that we believe in love, but so much in and around us is hate. We say we believe in humility and generosity, but so much in and around us is ego and greed. We say that we believe in Christ, but we do not give everything away and follow him through the narrow gate, do we? I am the worst of sinners in this regard.

We say that we live in his light, but so much is darkness. I am not delivering a sermon. I am just saying that we are so much in the dark. Many times, I despair also. Every day, there are times of darkness when everything I say and think seems small and mean and only a swirl of wind in the dust. But somehow hope returns, and we stand up and walk again.

Perhaps that is grace. Our learned people write learned things about the nature of grace, but I think perhaps it washes over us all the time, and we take it for granted. Hope does not make sense. But we continue to hope against all evidence. Could it be that to hope when hope is crazy is the purest grace? To believe against all sense and reason and logic, that is grace! The world will say you are silly! Be proud of that! Now I must go! I am always slightly late! God bless you! Pray for me, because I am a sinner!


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