What is Your Emotional Equator?

flat map ocean

What if the world is not flat?

What if the North Star’s dive below the horizon as you make your way south of the equator is not an indicator that the end of all things is near?

What if the truth everyone believes, isn’t really True?

What if the most important aspect of your life is only an emotional boundary that you can’t bring yourself to cross for fear of what monsters and end of time horrors await on the other side?

What if the edge of the only world you can imagine is only a passage to another world you never even dreamed existed?

What if speaking the truth of who you are and what you know does not have the power to crush another person?  What if, instead, the speaking of this truth has the power to set you free, to set the other free?

What if the expectations you think God has of you are really the expectations of your people that have been handed down from generation to generation, and what if they have nothing at all to do with God?

I devoured the first chapter of Edwin Friedman’s book A Failure of Nerve, and I am setting sail on an adventure toward my emotional equator.  Like the early explorers of the late 15th century, I wonder what will appear on the horizon when I stretch out into the boundaries of my fears and press into the deeper unknowable presence of God.

What is your emotional equator?

© Amy Persons Parkes 2013

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Around that Table

Struan Bread Dec 08 001

I grew up going to Sunday dinner at my Grannie’s house.  Grannie was known for her hospitality; she always had an open door and food to be shared.  Sunday after Sunday my family gathered around an oval claw-footed oak table that easily seated fourteen of us at a time.  Grannie didn’t have much in the way of material items, but she always had enough china, glassware, and silverware cobbled together in mix and match settings to provide a place setting for everyone who came to her table.  Each one of us had our place at the table, and each one of us played a part in getting food prepared, setting out the dishes, calling people to the table, running to the store when we ran out of ice, and washing dishes.  We were a motley crew.  We were indifferent, delusional, mean-spirited, kind, outspoken, shy, beautiful, peacemaking, faithful, honest, and dishonest.  We were all these and much, much more.  We liked each other; we loved each other; we resented each other; we tolerated each other.  I believe we became a family around that table sustained by the rhythm, the ritual, the shared food, and Grannie’s intention that she would host us at her table.

When I imagine the intent of Jesus saying “do this in remembrance of me” as He blessed and passed the cup and broke the bread, I think Jesus was inviting us to continue to share a table with one another, to continue to open ourselves to God’s grace at work through the mystery of this meal, to continue to be reminded that in the sharing of the cup of His blood and in the breaking of his body we are healed.  I imagine that in Holy Communion Jesus is reminding us of the gift and pain we will experience through covenant community.  In the church, at the Table, some are Mary Magdalene; some are Peter; some are Judas.  We are all God’s children.  With as much humility as I can muster, in ministry I give myself over to the understanding that throughout my life, I have been and/or will be these three and more.  With as much love and compassion as I can muster in ministry, I yield my heart in the knowledge that we will all be these three and more.  However, we all have a deeper, more lasting identity that we claim each time we share Holy Communion.  We all belong to Christ.

Amy Persons Parkes © 2012