South Carolina Episcopalians
          An Independent Journal of News & Commentary

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  Reflection in a Time of Confusion...
March 7, 2018

What’s Left…

I had a brilliant dream last night to the point I became sufficiently conscious to scribble a six-word reminder about it on an index card on the night stand.

This morning, I wasn't even out of bed, and I was puzzling over those barely-legible words I'd written during the night.  Of course, could recall neither their meaning nor the dream that inspired them.

Later on at my computer, I pulled up the draft of a posting for this blog I'd worked on yesterday I'd been re-reading the 1000+ emails SC Episcopalians has received over the years, hoping to discover among them a common theme or hidden insight to share about our Diocese's recent schism. 

There was none.

As I was about to click “Don’t Save”, the words on the index card suddenly made total sense.

“Where is God in all this?
   Those were the words on the card, and the elusive common thread I'd hoped to find in the emails!

Generally, those emails reflected the highly-charged emotions, disarray, and despair that have manifested themselves on all sides in this unfortunate time.  Disappointment and confusion were all over them.  In them was a kind of unspoken fear that the hand of God might no longer be leading us... or at least leading the side we were on. 

If that describes you at any point in the past, here's an idea: 

Close your eyes, pick up an imaginary paint brush, and create a Sistine-style mural in your mind’s eye.  Put in there images of all the things you've experienced as a follower of Christ in our Diocese -- regardless of whether you called it "Diocese of South Carolina" or "The Episcopal Church in South Carolina."

Go on, put it all on there, good and bad. 

Now when you're done, find some imaginary scissors, and cut away those parts of the mural that have been for you sources of pain, anxiety, false hope, anger, or frustration. 

Be aggressive.  Snip away at those diocesan resolutions, lawyers, judges, wrong-headed bishops, political posturing, self-righteousness, bone-headed family members, parish meetings, quitclaim deeds, gossip, disagreeable sermons, and Church hierarchy.  Oh yeah, online blogs can go as well (except for a couple of really good things I wrote a few years ago).

Okay.  Now take a good look at what’s left of your mural.

That is where God is... and where he has been waiting to welcome us back for a long time.  That which remains of your mural is the part of us God loves and through which He enters our lives in every moment, calming every fear and leading us forward in faith. 

The other stuff -- the stuff you cut away -- is just standard mankind mess-ups in which God has zero interest.

As the coming months unfold, our journey together will continue to be rocky.  But let's not be afraid, especially of each other. 

Our first job, as always, is to find a way back to those remaining parts of our murals... trusting, not only that God is there, He never actually left.  

-- Steve

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