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Nonduality Salon (/ \)

issue number one - September, 2000

Nonduality Salon Magazine


Why Now So Moving?

Gloria Lee

Here's what it is...what finally busted loose in me surprised even me. I've been rehearsing with this choral group the past 6 weeks and last night I started getting too choked up to sing, then the words just really got to me and seemed so meaningful. I didn't want to make a scene and leave and I kept thinking maybe I'd calm down and be able to sing the next song, but soon as I'd start to sing, the tears would start again. Its the same music we have been practicing all this time, mostly based on African spirituals. At first I thought it was just reminding me of all the years singing in church choir, which of course it was and had all along, and the music is great but why now so moving? It was and wasn't the music. Really I was just remembering all these good people I had known at church, sorta one after another coming up... and then feeling all this gratitude and love that these of course very ordinary people were so kind.

Like the guy you could call anytime, because he had made it his business to learn how to coax the old furnace back to working... and how he always asked after my boys and made a point of mentioning that he had also been thru a divorce and how being a step parent was not easy, but his boys all turned out ok in the end, tho they had their bad days too, so not to worry about it... and then he'd talk about his vegetable garden... and I still can't even remember what his name was, just that he's dead now and I miss him.

And all those little old ladies who week after week sign up for nursery care because they don't mind missing church... and always stick around to clean up the kitchen after the potlucks... and take food over whenever anyone has a baby or someone dies, whether they know them well or not... nameless to me people were coming to mind along with the ones important to me and close to me.

And I remembered how when the larger church hierarchy was holding debates about what the church's "stance" should be towards homosexuals, we just quietly voted in a lesbian woman for deacon. And the best part was it had nothing to do with any stance, it was more because she was already collecting furniture and stuff to give out to people whose houses burned down and that's what deacons do is look after other's needs, so why not make it official.

Back when my first husband simply packed up and went to California, the minister listened to all my problems week after week, 'cause I certainly could not afford "real counseling." No matter how depressed or angry I got then, he would say, "Well, isn't it okay to feel like that? If I was in your shoes, I'd be upset, too. This is not easy." And yet I'd feel better just being listened to and go back to deal with another week. He gave me what may be the best compliment I ever got in my life one day when he said, "What impresses me most about you is the wide assortment of people you know from all walks of life." When I stopped to think of all those people and how everywhere I went in town I'd see someone I knew, I felt rich in friends and the money problems I had then seemed a lot less important.

Well, I could on and on and I really don't care how corny this all must sound, because it was my mistake to think that it mattered that you can't talk to these people about chakras or kundalini or Buddhism or esoteric anything. So it actually does not matter to me if anyone thinks Christianity is dualistic or even if it basically really is, intellectually speaking. The entire issue of beliefs just went poof...gone. I know these people got the essence of Jesus message was about love and caring for others. Anyone's ordinary kindness matters just as much as the Mother Teresa type. And I realize how all these people are actually so much better than even they know themselves.

And I remembered that is why I fell in love with Jesus in the first place back when I was 10 years old and first heard about him... God is love, love one another. Even when I later went thru my own atheism, I could not bear to hear Jesus himself disparaged. Since then I've been thru all the usual questioning of everything and the ridiculous theology and thought I was just going to church for the kids sake or because I just like to sing the music, and that I needed to work out my own beliefs anyway and find people who thought like me. No matter what or how anything really may be, I still love Jesus.

When I finally got out of there, I let it out and cried all the way home. Here I've stayed away from church the past two years for many different reasons, but last night I knew I am just so homesick I want to go back.


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