Everything is Holy Now.

98 Ordinary

Codes

Stories

Photos

Linda Irene

Church: Invite AA To Come Out of the Basement.

And ask it to be your sponsor. Church might not know what I'm talking about, but AA does.

I liked being left to struggle through my own muck for the answer. The simple, but consistent container that holds this program of people who know bullshit when they see it is comforting. Especially when they don't care enough to guilt you to death, but do care enough to tell you the truth. Or maybe because they don't. Either way, it works. Telling your tales in this simple program sometimes looks more like "lessons learned" on a project, than a place we gather to share our most vulnerable and broken selves. Or our choices and consequences, good or bad.

And how we are responsible for it.

There's freedom that comes with owning the puzzle you call your problem. Especially when someone's out there to listen, even anonymously. Or maybe best anonymously. It's an acoustic backdrop bouncing your experience back to you. It acts like a ruler does when you're drawing straight lines. You might stray from its guide but self correct when you see you've gone off course - mental tacking. The others present seem to amplify what's coming out your mouth, helping hear yourself more clearly - without a lofty diagnosis or hefty check to validate it. Nobody tells you what to do either. Laundering your experience through the acoustics of anonymous ears amplifies how petty, victimized, angry, passive aggressive, or unaccountable you are. It keeps you honest if you want to be. It's a simple thing, yet almost impossible to explain. But acoustics is its closest relative. Acoustics can only be experienced with sound. Same thing in the rooms.

Traditionally, in our society, churches haven't been like this. There's a ruler but no guide. The lines feel already drawn with answers printed neatly inside the box it outlines - complete with indisputable references. Either that, or it doesn't really want to know in the first place. As long as the curtains are ironed, the communion elements show up, and "Up from the Grave He Arose" is sung on Easter morning, all is well with the world.

If the pen skipped over the crumbs left on your desk as it followed the rulers lead, there might be a place for real to sneak in.

Or acoustics and safe anonymity. Throw in some some scars, open wounds, and truth telling, and we might have something.

We need some sinkholes to get knee deep in mud. And struggle our way out in the creative tension that comes with problem solving, acceptance, and understanding. After all, it's not like anyone has all the answers.

When we get honest, all we have is a knowing that we sense. And desperately want the freedom to make sense of it. We want to wrestle in that mud, get dirty, and say a-ha all on our own. We can't do that without the sound of each other's broken heartbeats against the backdrop of some acoustics. The ruler isn't enough anymore.

Let's leave some crumbs lying around.

Perhaps it'll create some emergency entrances.

If that doesn't work, we'll take Bucky Fuller's advice.

When something stops working, don't fix it.

Build something new.

In The Deep Surrender
The Lords Supper: Make Believe? Buechner.