The Holy One spoke to me through a TV commercial a couple of days ago. It caught my attention such that I searched for it on the internet. You can find it posted just before this one. The pitch was for an online house search outfit. I won’t give away the story but what caught my attention was the punch line: “You are not looking for a house — you are looking for a place for your life to happen.”
Commercials always have a “hook” that catches us in deep places. That industry works hard finding ways to arouse the two motivations of all human affairs: fear and desire. Once the commercial has us then we are offered a way to safety or satiation. The quality of the offer is everything from the sublime to the sinister. For whatever is for sale a market can be found and precisely targeted. Greater care is taken in the sale of toilet paper than is considered for the spreading of the Gospel! The words of Jesus come to mind, “The children of this world in this their generation are wiser than the children of light.”
Now back to my basic notion. Looking for a house is about shelter, while looking for a place for your life to happen is about soul. I am no good as a realtor but matters of the soul are my work. What I know from soul work is that there is a certain loneliness that just goes with being a human being. We are solitary in a body. Regardless of how much we might hope for we can never get closer to anyone than body to body. We long for relationship that is permanent, dependable and rich. But deep commitment does not guarantee we will not finally be alone. Many relationships founder because they are not designed to carry the weight and intensity of our deepest needs. We need from each other what can only to found in God. A collect from the Prayer Book resonates:
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.(1)
What I seek is the place where my life can happen in the company of Christians who seek the same. We call it the Body of Christ.
I will explore these notions in the weeks ahead.
(1) The Collect for Proper 20 of Year C. – September 21, 2013