Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Things Recalled Anew, Things not Forgotten

We had spring weather for Christmas… 10+ C. and sun, sun, sun.  Two days later my mouth was frozen into an “O!” and my Facebook post confessed that “My face had forgotten what winter feels

The mountains of snow created by the ‘shovel-off’ from the 2nd floor deck have begun on the first floor entryway/porch.  Last year, they reached the height of the deck itself a full floor up.  I remain ever hopeful that they stay mere hills this year while my muscles so far seem content with the reality.

The Facebook post had me thinking...  “My face had forgotten what winter feels like.” What else have I forgotten or not forgotten that has come back to me lately?

I have not forgotten the small bell and stocking that my paternal grandmother crocheted for me over 40 years ago.  One goes on my inside doorknob and the other on the outside.  The original bit of ribbon my mother tied on the loop to distinguish between my brother’s and mine remains in place.

Each year I seem to have forgotten and get to rediscover the marvel of “snow-quiet…” The gentle muting unlike any other that comes with a fresh falling.

I have not forgotten the warm sigh of a chilly bedroom and extra blankets on the bed…their comforting weight pulled over a burrow hole just my size.

The uniquely particular design of each miniature crystalline sculpture is a joy to recall each winter too, as I find myself face to, well…flake.  It is trickier now with bifocals, but still, the wonder is there when examining the length of snow that has managed to balance on the line of a branch, on the top of a railing, or on the tip of mitten fuzz.

The blessings of winter are also not forgotten.  The blessing of a roof, of people who care about me and love me; The blessing of  cupboards that have delicious hot things for me to drink and warm myself from the inside out and the blessing of the proper clothing to wear for the weather.

Those things are not forgotten…and they are good to recall…and they are reasons for gratitude… because I also know that winter here is cold and that there is a reason that the song sings of a ‘bleak mid-winter.’  I know there are those who feel the cold...inside and out...and suffer for it in a variety of ways.

May my heart, strengthened and nourished so abundantly, be ever open, a refuge of warmth and respite and wonder, in this winter-time.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Advent IV 2015

Advent IV, 2015

It is you we await,
Glory Child, brightest light,
in the places of hope,
in the shadows of fright.

Sing out Hallelujah,
set the bells pealing.
Come, Peace for the Earth!
Come, Mercy and Healing!

Be born in us;
Reveal to us;
Unite with us;
Strengthen us.

That we too may
give birth
to Love, to Love,

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

(Photo used with permission

Friday, December 11, 2015

Advent III 2015

Advent III, 2015

I live
and I sense
and I say
there is,
in all of This,
glory here!
Glory now!

And it looks like
love overcoming,
is shaped like
compassion dancing,
feels like a blessing kiss.

I don't want to miss
this hope of here and now
that has been and shall be,
world without end.

So I add my amen
to the chorus of praise:

I align with the angels
and my voice I raise
In faith that
is already
on Earth;

Every day of the year
can be a season of birth.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ
(with thanks to Clara Malo, RSCJ for the photo)

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Response to San Bernadino and The Daily News

I will start by saying that I have fond memories of the smell of Hoppe's oil and melting lead. I loved sending the weight down the long barrel of my father's or grandfather's or uncle's or brother's rifle when they came back from hunting-- sending the weight down and tugging the wad of cotton rag through the barrel to clean it.  I have popped out primers, watched liquid metal be poured into molds to become bullets, and helped crimp shut the top of shotgun shells.  I have, in fact, drawn diagrams of shotgun shells and explained to others the science behind why they work and watched a deer head be prepared at the hand of a master taxidermist.

I have also driven a car that had its back end loaded down with many hundreds of rounds of live ammunition, multiple firearms, a collection of bows, a quiver of arrows, Ball canning jars of arrow tips, and a bag of knives. More on this in a bit.

And, I am sickened, absolutely sickened, when I read about or I see on the news or I hear about yet another mass shooting.

I am sickened because there are ways to reduce the likelihood that it will happen again and lawmakers consistently, obstinately, blindly, refuse to enact the necessary legislation in the all holy name of the Constitution.

I am sickened because we are now living in an age when planning and carrying out mass shootings seems like a right reaction to perceived injustice.

I am sickened because every time I see police in all of their riot gear, padded out, ready to "take out" or "shut down" or "neutralize" I hear the words "No, we can't help you because we are not in the habit of taking the private property of citizens."

That trunk full of weaponry and live rounds of ammunition? That was in the possession of a man who was actually barred by the state from having it.  And yet, he did. And I was trying to get rid of it responsibly. So, I called the police. And they were no help. None. Even with the paperwork from that same state that said he was not to have it.

These are the same police who I called to ask about whether they would come to the house if I found anything else when I was clearing out belongings. And they said no.

Sadly, I can't even cry out "UNBELIEVABLE." Because it isn't at all unbelievable.

And yet we wonder.  We consistently wonder and act surprised.  Or worse, accept these shootings as a part of our reality, as part of the price we pay for the right to own a gun.

What a sick, convoluted, interpretation of what a bunch of musket-bearers laid down in the Constitution.

And same time, people are actually getting upset over the recent Daily News headline that says "God isn't Fixing This."

I actually applaud the paper. And I think they are right. 

I believe God cares beyond measure about humanity's well-being.  I believe God is indignant and aches terribly to see what is happening.  I KNOW I was praying mightily while driving that car...praying no one hit me...and I KNOW I have prayed over and again to do and to say what God would have me do and say in difficult circumstances...including when finding out that the police had no interest in helping me do the right, safe, thing.  I believe God calls me to Love. Calls me to be compassionate and just and the fullness of who God created me to be. God calls me to heal, to bind up, to visit, to care, to do my part.  God fascinates and astounds me and fills me with wonder at the generous experiences I have had with God's tenderness and fidelity.  "Nothing can separate you from my love" is a foundation stone for me and a call to go forth into the world and do what I can to make it better for as many people as possible.

And while I have given my life to this Love as a Roman Catholic woman religious, God will not stop the wrong guns from being in the hands of the wrong people.  God alone will not change our culture, our indifference, or the fact that some people do terrible deeds for reasons we may never understand and to which we respond with dropped jaws and open carry laws and petrified children.

God inspires people, strengthens people. Us. You, me, the lawmakers, the person in the checkout line buying another box of hollow points and another gun to add to their personal arsenal because it's allowed.

Are we called to something better, something other?  We must make that choice.  We must be the ones to fix this.  By the laws we pass, by the choices we make, by our attitudes, our decisions, by what we say, how we act, and what we call our neighbor to as well.

So yes, pray.  Pray harder than ever.... I do believe Love will ultimately triumph over evil. 

At the same time, use the intellect, the reason, the sense, the capacities we have been given as human beings, to change the laws and systems for good.

Or, don't gape the next time another mass shooting happens.  It's on us. Not God.

Advent II, 2015

Advent II, 2015

Oh glory, there is
a need,
such a need…

to leap alive
in a defiantly clamorous,
bold and passionate,
proclamation of birth:

The birth of Love come down
to breathe, sing,
dance, cry out,
in radiant, Hallelujah,

Kimberly M. King RSCJ

(photo is used with permission

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Landscapes far and near

I have just come from two hours of unbounded-ness. Two hours that included conversations with a coffee purveyor, a baker, a seller of brussel sprouts, and a small baby quite taken with the rose color of my corduroy shirt; that pair of hours included reading from a book called The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane about his walking of ancient pathways in the world, their topo/geo/graphy, their geology, and their influence on the person (this chapter is about Palestine); I wrote to several friends in other places and also spent some of the time simply watching and listening to all that surrounded me from my vantage point on the steps of our local Farmers Market by the harbor.

I love these letting go moments...when I am able to be within mind and heart and book and surroundings all at the same time...when the confluence of all is murmuring "home" in a harmony of voices.

I am finding Macfarlane's book an exquisite read. His use of language, the topic, and the images he shapes with his syllables have me aching for moments to read...and to read in open spaces because the feeling inside me needs room. Yesterday I copied out some lines after reading about his friend who handed him a feather carved from dolorite with a whale rib as a spine.

~~The feather was cool on my hands and impossibly heavy. Its density seemed supernatural. It longed to fall, dragging my arms down. This was its brilliant contradiction as an object--it was a feather that yearned for the earth, a flight-object supercharged with gravity.~~ The Old Ways, p. 175

A flight-object supercharged with gravity...

When I read that I thought YES!! I understand that!! The yearning to be grounded and the ache to fly...to be free...to find ways to embody both, to make known both... and isn't that the nature of The Love to which I have given my life...both grounded and unbound... a call to presence and a call to freedom... a call to Be and a call to Go Forth... A call to trust in the foundation of God and in the wind of the Spirit.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Advent I 2015

Advent I, 2015

This Waiting Time


Now is not

a passive time. Indeed,

the world can not bear

any more indifference.


I wish to wait with a passion

akin to the vigilant stars

who allow the day her spectacle

until the night has bloomed:


Unafraid and

full ablaze,

visible briefly but oh,

ever intensely.


Kimberly M. King, RSCJ


(photo used with permission, blog.aladin.co.kr)



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Early Advent, 2015


An Early Advent, 2015


It is in this

here, this

now, this




that I dare

to raise

my spirit

and summon

a prayer

that has passed

through all

that has passed

through me,


an urgency

I can not bear

contain: COME!



in my every


to soothe

to anoint

to heal

to grace.



in my thinking

in my writing

in my speaking

in my doing.



In my dreaming

in my living

in my hoping

In my loving.



Inspire us.


Embolden us.


Sustain us.


Until in a riot of glory,

in a full blossom of peace,

the world can sigh

and begin to heal.


Kimberly M. King, RSCJ


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Riotous Glory

Riotous Glory
The branches are tipped
in riotous glory.
There is no whispering now--
only a fullness
of unflinching colors
boldly presenting themselves
before the great inevitable
fallow time before
a fresh becoming.
Do I dare
desire likewise for myself?
Kimberly M. King, RSCJ


Friday, September 4, 2015

The Early Watch

Early Watch

Coffee is my company

in this faith profession

from a rocking chair.


I am all for you—and you,

you are all for me, all for

each; love-awed you

are for each and you are for all.


And this glory dance

that you conduct into being

is your magnum opus blooming

in light steeped color:


Another day.

Another chance.

World without end.


Amen, amen, amen.


--Kimberly M. King, rscj--



Monday, August 17, 2015

In the Company of Trees

Now and then I read something that inspires the Dickinson Effect within my psyche. ~ If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.~ (Emily Dickinson)

Now and then I read something that pushes me back in my chair and whispers, "I think you understand, reader..."

So it was when I made my way through Flipboard one morning and clicked on one of my favorite sections-- Brain Pickings by Maria Popova. She was reflecting on the memoir of Eve Ensler, writer, activist, playwright.

There was the tree. My tree. Not that I owned it. I had no desire for that. But it had come to be my friend, my point of connection and meditation, my new reason to live. I was not writing or producing or on the phone or causing anything happen...I was not contributing much more than my appreciation of the tree, my love of green, my commitment to trunk and bark, my celebration of branch, my insane delight over the gentle white May blossoms that were beginning to flower everywhere.

--Eve Ensler, from her memoir, In the Body of the World

In each place I have lived for the last number of years, I too have had a tree.

In Grand Coteau, it was the sweet olive on the corner between the library door and the arcade. Her light flowerypeachy scent inspired the first poem I ever published and remains one of the most beautiful perfumes I have ever caught on a breeze.

Gonna be like

Heaven gonna smell

like sweet-olive, friend;

Gonna have galleries for sitting

breezes for cooling

singing to joy-up the choir of

souls swinging

a coming-home


flowers gonna jump

into bouquets of beauty

branches gonna clap their leaves

for the God-feel in the air;

sleep gonna be deep

dreams of no more hurt

no pain but the release

of joy sighs

at the taste of

salt rivers flowing

into the ocean

of arms-open


Kimberly M. King, rscj; Copyright 2002, National Catholic Reporter

In New York City, there is a tree in Central Park right at the end of 91st Street as you come in from Madison where the bus leaves you off. When in her fullness, her glory spanned the whole width of the street. In the fall, she stood in her sticks with dignity, hope, and promise. I talked to her almost every morning...at least a friendly greeting.

In Saint Charles, it was the pair of trees that held branches on the far side of the soccer field. Sigh, it is possible that they have now been cut down as they make their way through changes to the campus. At least they'd have been cut down together, if they are gone. I can't imagine one lasting long without the other...stretching her leaves in a desire to connect with the one that rooted itself beside her. I loved that they were company for one another...in blooming times and the fallow seasons, both.

Then here in Halifax...the marvelous godly tree who opens herself so boldly to each new day. I love praying with her and being with her in the mornings and watching the changing dance with you throughout the year.

And, there have been other times...

In Washington state, Shelton, it must have been, there was the tree that understood. The weeping tree, that simply stood with me in the fog.

Going back many years, there were the apple trees at the base of my grandparents' yard...the buckeye at the top of of the garden at one childhood home, the crabapple at a friend's house with branches low enough for me to climb without acrobatics and certain danger... Each one of these, a refuge, a sanctuary, of peace and security.

Thank you for watching over me in so many beautiful guises...






Sunday, August 9, 2015

Glimpses of Holy

I went to the market early yesterday morning. As I walked down from where I parked the car, I saw the same guy I see every week I go, sitting on the guardrail by the sidewalk. He always seems to be waiting for something, or someone, or perhaps not. I passed and greeted him with a "Good morning!" He responded, "You're the first one I've seen! Can I tell you a story? My friend sat on my knee last night! Just sat right on my knee. Now THAT doesn't happen very often, does it? A baby starling, right there on my knee! We had a conversation and then he flew away."


Yesterday I went into The Smiling Goat to review French. I got up to the counter and the young woman helping me grinned and said "Hey! I passed you on the street the other day and thought-- I haven't seen her in here in forever! How's your summer? What can I get you to drink?" I told her about my summer as she made up my iced americano. "That sounds cool...and I am glad you're back."




From an opera performance of Emily Dickinson poetry that I went to on Thursday at the local public library... "I find ecstasy in living-- the mere sense of living is joy enough."

When I think of the fullness and and diverse facets of what I believe it means to truly live...all I can say is Amen.


I was away near Lunenburg, NS for a couple of days last week. One of those nights, I went on to the porch to say good night to the evening sky. As soon as I lifted my head to gaze into the spread of infinity, a shooting star sparked her path triumphant across the palette of darkness.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Art of Conversation

I tucked into one of my favorite local thought spots to write a letter this morning. Another woman was across the big common table from me, diligently tikka-takking away on her keyboard. She looked up, smiling, as a I sat down. I smiled back and we both ducked into the thick of our writing.

Until a guy several tables away let a gigantic sneeze storm through his whole being.

She hung her head, shaking and laughing. "That's got to feel so good!" she said. We both cracked up and exchanged light conversation which ended when she packed up and left with "Good luck with your work!" It was so simple and genuine an interaction. Lovely, really.

I made my way down the street to the office where I dropped off the letter and headed back via the public library. I went in to use the restroom...which happens to be located beyond the quick pick mystery shelves... which usually manage to draw my attention away from whatever my original intent. Standing there, studiously tilted, was another reader. A reader who sighed when removing a volume and said "I've read it already...but it was so awfully good..." I noticed what she had in her hand and said "Oh! If that's the sort of thing you like, have you read..." and I pulled a couple off the shelf. We launched into a short excursion across time and continents, recommending books to one another. She snapped photos of covers and I wrote down an author's name before parting on a "Thanks! Have a good rest of your day!" Again, really basic stuff, but an honest human connection and engaging conversation.

I needed to get a birthday card for a community member before returning home so I stopped in the bookstore. Found the card, poked around, and went to pay. I pulled out some coins and noticed that what remained in my change pouch would be just enough to cover an ice cream in the public gardens sometime this week. I made mention of this to the guy helping me who said "Isn't that a nice treat now and then?? Do you remember the Dairy Queen on the corner up here?...." And we were off onto summer expeditions from years earlier...including the shared memory of eating home made ice cream and helping by sitting on the board across the top while an adult churned." Our time together lasted no longer than five to seven minutes but has lingered brightly all day long.

As I walked the last blocks home, I kept thinking about the grace of the conversations I had today...and how much they meant to me because they were so simple, so kind, so honest and uncomplicated and engaging. Each time, our common humanity was recognized and enriched. Enriched by joy, by spontaneity, by connection, by recognition.

... Sigh ...

Giving thanks is a great way to go to sleep this evening.





Friday, July 24, 2015

Back from Away

I have been away for a short while. I still had with me the tools of technology I employ for writing...pen, paper, IPad...but nonetheless, there has been a refreshing pause in posting much until now.

I left home July 4th to head to McAllen, Texas, at the U.S/Mexico border, to work with two of my sisters on a leadership program for 42 engaged and committed young adults who live in the surrounding colonias and who are a part of ARISE, A Resource in Serving Equality, an organization in the Rio Grande Valley, founded by Sister of Mercy Gerrie Naughton in 1987. Over the week during which we flowed freely between English and Spanish, the young adults were taken through the process of project development as they created programs they were prepared to take back to their local centers and implement. Goal setting, resource analysis, public speaking, budgeting, and needs assessment, are all a part of the workshop which has the tag line, Leadership is Action, not Position.

This is my second summer helping out with this program. As I learn more, grow both more comfortable with it and more challenged to learn from it, and am inspired by the tremendous commitment of the young adults to effect positive change on a local, personal, level, my soul is nourished.

A dear and wondrous friend came to the McAllen central bus terminal in order to ride together back to her community. These were two days of pure joy...two days of knowing the nearness of someone who loves me as I am, for who I am, with whom there are conversations about everything and nothing. Two days of seeing and experiencing her world. Two days of grace and deep mutuality. The visit was short...too short, on many levels...yet also a concentrated gift that I wouldn't have wanted to miss for anything.

From there onto Saint Louis, where I met with a group of friends with whom I used to teach and celebrated our friendship with rounds of laughter and an all too brief catching-up. The day after my evening arrival was the opening of a five day Assembly and Chapter of the United States-Canada Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart. 236 people, 180 or so RSCJ, and much conversation about future directions and ways of organizing ourselves.

Many, many, people commented on what they saw as "my new look." In part, that was because I wore a skirt one day--a skirt I actually like, because it is comfortable, suits me in its cut, and has a pattern that reminds me of Matisse's cut out leaves. Slightly funky, well fitting, and suitable for me. Others commented on the colors of my shirts...orange, rose, purple... On one hand, I suppose I can understand their comments...On the other, I couldn't help but think, this is not "a new look." This is Me. Perhaps it is a new "seeing" that circumstance and personal freedom have allowed to happen.

Then, home again. Home with a sigh for the joy of it and another sigh for missing some pieces of these last weeks. Home with gratitude and home with a full heart that knows what it is to be loved and to love in return, with a grounded heart that seeks to not bother trying to be anything but who I am called to be, and allowing that self to be seen because I can not contain it.

Amen...thanks be to God.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Credo after these Days

Some days ago I received a gift in the mail. It had no fewer than 37 stamps stuck on the outside of it and it was wrapped in paper. An 85 year old sister of mine had been collecting my writings over the years and as part of her paring down, she sent me a binder full of them.

So many memories are in these pages...each poem or letter or essay is a point of time on the journey that has brought me to the here and now... Many of the pieces served their moment and can retire to history, some can be reworked and used again on different occasions.

One pair of pages, though, stood out, especially during these last couple of days when there has been a concentration of beautiful and devastating events in the world. Sometime in the early 2000s I wrote a creed. It got posted early on in my blogging career.

Finding it again, just now, inspires me to write one as who I am at This moment.

I Believe--in the wonder that is God.

I believe the wonder of God is caught up in Love and I believe Love will lead me home. Love for me is all about God and the God who has my heart filled to overflowing is expansive, uncontainable, passionate, and utterly astounding. This Love has no room for hate. No room for "not welcome," for "better than," or for "not worthy."

And God calls me on it when I veer down any other path and start filling up on something less.

Love has no room for bombs. It has no room for guns wielded against innocents, for prejudice, for condemnation, for subtraction or division.

This Love I believe in has room only for multiplication and addition. This Love is about life, and transformation and not being alone, about compassion and mercy and justice.

This Love is what calls me to act, calls me to put my gifts and my talents at the service of a wounded world that is teeming with contradiction, violence on a horrific scale, devastating righteousness, grace-filled humanity, deep beauty, and unshakable hope.

When all is said and done, I believe that Love is the light shining in the darkness and the darkness will not ever overcome it.

This I believe.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Glory Be

This Trinity Sunday, I was caught more than ever by the all encompassing nature of our triune God..Point of origin, companion on the journey, and what will bear us home. There is no blank page in the story...no empty moment. That is the way it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be...the trinty of time.

To reflect on this, to re-member this, is the call of Moses to the people in the first reading from Deuteronomy. It is a great reading (that BEGS to be proclaimed with a certain fervor); however, it is the last line of the Gospel that stays with me at day's end as I take up pen and keyboard.

And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

And behold. Take note. Take awe seriously. Go ahead and laugh too. And beauty? Revel in it. Create it, share it, encourage it. Note the prism in tears too, and what is within. Stand with those in pain, those who suffer. Be ready to ache. And even if you are ready, it is going to out and out hurt sometimes. Behold with your being.

I am with you. So go forth and fall sometimes when you try something new. Say Yes. Try. Why not? It's not like I'm ever letting you go. Things are in your favor-- you will ultimately rise once more than you fall.

I am with you always. That? Yes, I know. The time when... Yep. Even though... Um Hm. Always. Remember, I made you. And it was a great idea I had. Trust me. Nothing can separate you from my love. Full stop.

Until the end of the ages. You know when you hold somebody and you sometimes say, "I've got you...I've got you...?" It's like that. Until you become a part of it All. Until you return...Glory unto Glory.

And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

As I look back over the last week or so of my writings, I see this truth born out over and again. They have been weeks of encounter in a whole variety of settings and ways...The forsythia blooming with might and stupendous intensity; an invitation by someone who thought it would be fun to sing together; coming up with helpful metaphors for a sixteen year old to understand different academic topics; laughing loud and hard with a dear long-time friend; quiet, care filled, sharing at the end of the day with another friend; struggles in knowing how to best serve the needs of the literacy student I help, chatting with people at the farmer's market, airport runs at sunset, helping get ready for our Assembly/Chapter this summer, a stranger holding the door for me when I had a full cup of coffee...

There is no blank page in the story. Glory be to God, thanks be to God, world without end, Amen.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Hand in hand

An entry from this morning...

6:37 AM... Est l'heure de prendre un café avec une chatte qui mange son petit-déjeuner...

I woke to my room being filled with the most wonderful light...first light, warm, embracing light. Hope for that was part of my motivation for leaving my blind slats open when going to bed last night, I confess...

I enjoy the wonder of serendipity and receiving the unexpected joys of trying to live open to you; the unexpected joys of walking with my arms down at my sides, desiring to be spacious, rooted And loosely bound, the both, aware and available. That grand bit of leaf art yesterday is a perfect example. Such thorough gift sown plentifully in my wandering journey.

That said, I also enjoy planning for encounters with you. Leaving the blind slats open; rising early enough to watch the sun blink over the horizon; waiting for the fireflies; even intentionally setting out on a walk through the Public Gardens or traipsing off on a meander through the farmers' market that holds the promise of coffee, a munch, people watching, and writing.

It's a both-and, a hand in hand... I love that about you.

(And the daffodils are spectacular, by the way.)



Friday, May 8, 2015

Lighthearted Coffee Company

Coffee with Emily


Notes slid


with the slightest

curl of lip-

a poem passing,


just above the rim.



Coffee with Pablo


You left words for me

before you

and the salted dory


The conch kept them

warm in her echo.


Coffee with Walt


A flower bedecked the band

of your felted journey hat;

your shoes stayed

at the door.

Soles at rest- though

pointing onward, ever

ready to dance.


Coffee with Ogden


We took our cups

to the aquarium;

We took them to the zoo.

We made up tales

of savannah whales

who speak

as you and I do.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Not Because I Doubted

Not Because I Doubted

Though hidden beneath layers

worn thin and well tucked;

Hidden in the open spaces, bared

to the winds of history, the contortions of mystery;


the invitation was everywhere in you--

voice, whisker, shuffle, silence,

the defiant parry of blue from your eye:


Put your finger here, reach out your hand,

lay your knowing, lay your compassion,

upon my wounds.


Not because I doubted, rather

because we needed one another

to understand what it means

to hope in the Resurrection.


Kimberly M. King, rscj



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

To seek, to Find, and not to Yield

It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life that Christ is looking for.

--Søren Kierkegaard--

It is a sobering reflection of his that I read this morning. He writes of the difference between being an admirer and being a follower of Christ. With an admirer, the connect is there in language and enthusiasm, but it does not permeate the life lived in the midst of the quotidian human reality. Things stay compartmentalized for a variety of reasons. He is careful to add that while good people are admirers of Jesus, there is an inherent separation when something or someone is admired.

The follower, however, is set on the conversion of self, on being suffused with the reality and not the ideal of the way Jesus was in this world and among his people.

[There] is absolutely nothing to admire in Jesus, unless you want to

admire poverty, misery, and contempt.

For me, though, I don't think we can truly Live without joy as well--that is part of the "life in abundance." I would like to read something of Kierkegaard's that brings that in too while also speaking to the challenge of steeping ourselves in the lived reality of our neighbors and seeking to help make manifest the longings of God for the world.

How clearly I remember the period of time when I began to close the gap of my own admiring distance...when I began to understand with my Being the invitation extended to me...to know what it is to truly Love and to allow Love to shape me, convert me over and again, time and again, world without end... and thus know greater freedom.

It takes energy to maintain a distance...energy that could be given to something or someone else. How much easier it is to breathe deeply when not quite as bound behind pain or hurt or fear; how much easier to offer understanding to another when I am more able to name and accept my own poverties of heart and spirit and yet know myself to be loved and able to express it; and how much it all makes me ache, sometimes...ache from laughing, ache from beauty, ache from a rending of my heart...

It is precisely this strength and ache and freedom all together that is for me what it means to be a follower of Jesus.