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Nov 17 2008
Kendyl Gibbons quotation

I was really impressed by the quote from UU minister Kendyl Gibbons which our guest Michael Werner used to end yesterday's SHL meeting, and apparently others were, too. I'm posting it here for anyone who is interested in carefully reading it or quoting it themselves:

If there is no personality governing the universe and promising us love, justice, and meaning on some ontological bottom line, then it is all the more necessary for us, flawed and finite as we are, to give love, to enact justice, and to build meaning here and now.

Let there be only the cold whistling of the solar winds out to the ends of space; let the past and future merge into a moebius strip of endless, beginning less flow; let there be no everlasting arms, no judgment, either indulgent or severe: let there be nothing, nothing, nothing at all but what we are and what we have in this moment in this matrix of energy/matter, in this movement in the dance of entropy. It is enough; more than enough; measure pressed down, shaken together and running over. It is marvelous enough and terrifying enough, mysterious enough, holy enough to fill me full and overflowing with wonder.

The love I give and receive (and withhold and reject) is precious and sacred and not to be lightly held precisely because it is all there is, not just a spoonful out of some inexhaustible supply. The justice I do not do is not taken care of at the end of the day, like a parent picking up forgotten toys; its opportunity is lost forever, and the suffering that results is real suffering, not ultimately wiped away by a tender Hand. How much sacred significance can we endure?

Something about that reality is a needless, gracious gift; the eternal surprise that there is anything instead of nothing, and that the anything includes us and our awareness. Something about it makes us understand that we are painfully finite; that our time is limited, our individual abilities and understandings limited, that we are parts and participants in a project that endures beyond us and is greater than ourselves. And something about that reality calls us, allures us, demands of us that we grow, into all the wisdom and justice and love of which we are capable, because that is the fulfillment of the deepest reality of what we are.

Look around you. Everywhere, on all the sidewalks and byways of the world, women and men hunger for the meaning in life, and find it in the ardent sod, the warmth of sun and breath of air; in the miracle of the setting sun and the altar of the ocean; in the struggle of now, salted with wishes and dreams, in human love and understanding. The person who hungers for the meaning in life is you, is me, is each of us, whatever words we use to try in vain to say what fills us, what makes us all that we are and out of that emerges demandingly, our inherent worth and dignity. Surely possible, oh, yes; for every day we wake and make it so; and every breath we take says that unfathomable Yes to the life that is all we have, that is all we know, that is our hunger and our fullness and is, beyond all that we need, enough.

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