Deputies at work in committee.
The grist has been added to the mill as of yesterday. The grain will get its grinding now, and how. I don't envy the winnowers their work, nor do I envy those heaving the baskets of grain to be threshed. How their shoulders must ache, and not only with the hard grain they bear, but also with the attitudes--or lack thereof--of those coming forth to dump their loads, graciously or otherwise.
The winnowers and those working with the millstones have very long, ardrous days beginning at 7:00 am and usually ending around 10:00 pm or later. Then they sleep--we hope!-- and get up to do it all again in the morning. And so it goes. They probably have those little carts you use to move your luggage around at airports [the folding kind with two wheels] that they lug all their paperwork, reports, copies of resolutions, water bottles, little discreet pillboxes containing their headache or nausea tablets, and I wouldn't be surprised if a few had a pillow in there somewhere or an iPod.
Of course, I am painting a pastoral allegory of General Convention, but it does fit nicely into the work being done. I suppose one of the key things to remember--for us and them--is a line from Psalm 84:
"No good thing will God withhold from those who walk with integrity."
Some folks there deeply believe with all their hearts and souls that they know the will of God, that they know the "truth" of Scripture and its vast meaning, that their "truth" is the only truth that matters, and that anyone else's truth is wrong. Sounds very human. I suppose what gripes me the most are the voices that claim God is on "their side", that while LGBT members of the Church are baptized and loved by God, they are still less than human than the rest of us.
Nowhere does Jesus preach that--in the words of Desmond Tutu--He died for "some", that He died for this group or that. We know that He told us He died for us all, that all fall under His grace and love and acceptance. That no one who proclaims Him Lord and Savior and follows Him will be denied anything. Given this, who are some to say that the dignity of all persons should be withheld from some but not others? Those who would exclude the baptized from all the rights and privileges that Christ guarantees us, not some organized church denomination with all of its human-made rules and procedures.
The one line of many in the newly released Voices of Witness is the one where someone telling their story says: "I don't want to belong to a church who will bless my dog but not me." I hope I am quoting this person right, but the gist is the same. We bless buildings, burial plots, heterosexual couples, pets but not those who have a right to it, our LGBT sisters and brothers IN Christ.
What I rest in spiritually is that, regardless of the hoped for outcomes of this turning point in our Episcopal history by either ideology, God in all Her mystery and infinite Wisdom, will always do what is best for us in this microsecond of time by Her measure. And if we can remember that it was Paul who pointed out that "nothing is impossible for God", then we ought to rest assured that, indeed, it will come to pass.
"Nothing [NOTHING! zip, zero, zilch, nada] is impossible [this word is not in God's vocabulary!] for God [Father, Son and Her, the Holy Spirit]. No matter what we do here on earth, we are not in charge.
And to that I say, with all my heart, "Thanks be to God!"