Most everyone who stays in touch with the news knows that the Episcopal Church USA is undergoing a seismic shift towards the full inclusion of gays and lesbians into the life and liturgy of the Church. As reported in the New York Times, at the Church’s tri-annual convention in Anaheim yesterday, the House of Bishops hammered out a broadly supported resolution which, among other things, “gives latitude to bishops who wish to go ahead and bless [same-sex] unions, particularly in states that have legalized such marriages.” Of course, as a gay man whose committed relationship has already received the blessing of the Church in 1993, I was delighted to see this move towards equal treatment. However, millions of people worldwide are as appalled and disgusted with this progressive move as I was thrilled and gratified. One line from the NYT article particularly caught my attention.
The Rev. Steve Wood, pastor of St. Andrews Church in Mount Pleasant, S.C., said: “The conservatives are treated more as zoological oddities. We’re patted on the head, nice-nice, and then we get steamrolled.”
Those of you who read my old blog know that I have a strong faith of some kind, but wonder now and then about my Christianity. One of the faith practices that I come back to again and again with great reward is not particularly emphasized in Christianity—meditation. I have been following the meditation practices of the Self-Realization Fellowship for 30 years now. I have to say that my closest and most trusted avatar is not Jesus Christ but rather Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of SRF. That certainly would disqualify me in the eyes of many, perhaps most, Christians. Yet I feel confident that I am on the right path to both attend Trinity Episcopal Church AND practice SRF meditation. I give you this background because I am about to relate to you one more meeting of myself and the Divine Presence in my life.
A while back, May 6 to be precise, I wrote a blog entry entitled Now that we have a patch of sun. I told you about how we had tried for 8 years to make a shade garden, and now had ended up with a sunny patch in the corner of our garden. I said I tilled the soil, weeded, put in some dahlias and vines in memory of my great grandmother, encouraged the perennials we planted last year, and gave the new sun garden my blessing: “Poof, grow!” It’s been a little less than two months since that day, and the miracle of the garden has evolved. I thought you might like to pay a re-visit to that special little corner. So here is an overview shot of it (from the same point that I took the picture in the last blog entry), and then I will comment and add a collage of 4 close-ups.