Surprised on a Sunday

It was a typical summer Sunday at church. Vacant.  Everyone was either sunbathing, sweating or sleeping somewhere, anywhere but in the sanctuary of the Unitarian Church. I was glad to be sitting for a moment, reprieved from the interruptive calls of “Mommmm!”  Just to sit and hear the glory of the solo cello while pondering my own thoughts and feelings in a casual, meditative state.  I was satisfied.  It was all I needed in that moment.

But, as if often the case, life wanted to give me more.  In came the visiting preacher.  The what?  Everyone knows that pulpits are filled with rookie substitutes during the hot and sticky months, with whatever available preacher that has a pulse and no better place to be.  But this one – what was his name? – was good.  Damn good.  He summed up the purpose of liberal religion in three jam-packed phrases –

To free the mind;
To grow the soul;
To change the world.
 

He went on to explain that once we free our mind and clear the channels, we stop fearing the depth and variety of our inner worlds.  This freedom then grows the soul.  We expand.  We blossom into our best self, the self we were put here to be.  Henceforth, we cannot help but change the world – whether it be our little corner or maybe something bigger, more global.

I could not resist the clear crossover to my chosen profession.  Is this not what I do in my office … sitting there hour after hour, day after day?  Back aching, backside expanding, wrinkles deepening.  I create space to free the mind.  A place where all thoughts and feelings are not only allowed, but strongly encouraged.  In this process, which is almost always resisted, the window to our mostly unconscious psyche enlargens.   Openness replaces restriction.  Enthusiasm towards more ignites and often, cannot be contained.  Curiosity arises, creativity emerges and health begets health.

I wish I had gotten the name of that preacher.  The substitute want-to-be who gave me more than I expected.  Mr. Hit-and-Run.  The enthusiastic nameless preacher who stated it so much better than I could have myself.

Wherever you are, I thank you.

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