Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Five: In the Middle

November 15 is the middle of the month and also the day for our Friday Five. Think about the term “middle” which indicates various ways of looking at things: middle of a project; middle of an argument; midpoint as the golden mean; middle of a dilemma (of which its spelling is indecisive); middle of a family; middle of the state; middle of the street; and on and on and on.

For today’s Friday Five, write about five experiences you have had being in the middle. It will be interesting to see how many different ways we see the middle in our lives.

1.   The Via Media is the way that the Episcopal Church likes to think of itself.  And for many years I really appreciated that sense of standing between the Catholic and the Protestant as a way to describe my faith.  But over the past 10 years or so I have watched both the Catholic and the Protestant extremes get more and more bizarre in how they describe their relationship with the Divine.  Living in the middle of that tension has become harder and harder to live in.  Last week I attended an Anglican church in Mexico city where it was by far more English than it was Mexican -- it WAS Remembrance Day  (Armistice Day) and the British Ambassador to Mexico was in attendance.  But I don't think my faith is dependent on British forms of worship to be valid.  It just felt that it was trying to make Brits feel good about being British.  I wonder if that is what we are doing in the States.  Is much of our effort mainly to make Americans feel good about their faith?  

2.  I am in the middle of a fight in which my Church has made wide-sweeping statements about LGBTQ persons but in this place
seems to want to wiggle out of them.  The leadership and many of the followers would rather 'look' correct rather than 'be' correct about living them out.  Now, I feel I am being called to put the mirror to my local diocese; however, I am tired and worn out by having had to do this on all kinds of issues for my whole career.  I am tired of having had to fight to combat racism, sexism, justice for all and now when I desperately need the help for myself, I can find no one to take my side.

3.  The middle is not a comfortable place.  For all who sit on fences, it is an exercise in maintaining a type of balance that I am not sure is especially healthy.  It is more of an exercise in being torn apart than peace.  I wonder if that is the reason why so much of the world insists on being on the end of an issue rather than being somewhere in the middle.  It is harder to maintain the middle than to live on the edge.

4.  We have two cats who do not like each other.  The senior male, Tyke, is a pretty sanguine fellow
but Little Bit, a three year old female is the Alpha cat.  She has been since she came in the door as a kitten.  She jumps Tyke whenever she take the fancy.  She eats his food.  I am in the middle.  But I have the water spritzer!  The only time they can abide to be together is when I am in bed and they are on either side of me.  

5.  I am in the middle of a dilemma of whether to finally kick over the idea of church and leave my denomination, leave the Church altogether.  I have spent more than 50 years being a church woman but what I see of the Church today makes me sad, sick and angry.  I feel like all that we worked for in the ordination of women was for naught--the women have turned out to be just as phoney as the men.

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