I finally thought of an appropriate name for Tuesdays. It is Testimony Tuesdays! A time to share stories or really whatever is moving.
Testimony has evolved from the Latin root of "witness" to its current meaning of presenting truth. And yet we know that it doesn't present truth in any form as we watch youtube videos extolling the virtues of some obscure vinegar purge or testimonies attesting to the rightness of whiteness *yuck.* Testimony has lost its virtue.
As I type that, I wonder why even use the name above and beyond alliteration? Maybe it is time to reclaim it? To approach TRUTH with a lower-case "t" rather than to bring it trying to proclaim truth for all.
In my tradition, witness was the testimony regarding spiritual matters. Well, we are all about spirit here! So, testimony tuesdays it shall be. 🙂
I have found that my current spiritual practices are not cutting the mustard. No longer does it feel healthy to delve into the Bible, to ruminate, to do art and haiku, and then to produce commentary. After the experiences of General Conference 2019 (the United Methodist Church), it feels toxic. Somehow, the hatred we faced hurriedly walking past those who hate has covered my spiritual heart with toxic slime (Westboro Baptist was there along with the haters who were inside the building and of our own ilk).
There was so much coded language regarding how we treat the LGBTQIA+ community of which I am a part of: "We love y'all, but there has to be standards." "We love you, but accountability." "We love you, but the Bible is clear." What follows after each statement, unsaid, is "God thinks you're an abomination and so do we."
The gaslighting was tremendous. They got all up in their feels about "We don't hate you! Stop saying we hate!"
I imagine that those people who march in white robes and pointy hats would not necessarily say that they hate either. They just want what is best for their own society. Again, *yuck*.
Oh, and I'm not gaslighting them. I think there is an easily identifiable and proven track to show that racism, white supremacy, and patriarchy are at the heart of anti-LGBTQIA+ exclusion. (It doesn't help matters when the LGBTQIA+ community is racist.) Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
All that is to say, I need a new practice. So I've been thinking about it. Especially after talking with my Spiritual Director yesterday. He insists I incorporate silence. Therefore, I've decided on a two-part practice: silence and haiku/tanka/art.
Well, that is fairly similar to what I was doing, but a little looser. I need the silence to grieve properly. I need the artistic expression in order to align my creative heart with the heart of the creator. I'm leaving creator as lower-case "c" because it is simply an approximation of truth, not an idolized version of truth. Maybe that is what I'll do from now on in all references divine. They are all lower-case "t" truth so they should all be lower-case. Hmm. Yes!
Today, I leave you with this tanka (5-7-5-7-7-ish):
moving towards warmer waters
journeying as one
in communion with travelers
seeking today's sustenance
And that is my testimony for today.
What personal truth would you like to share?