Bishop Michael Curry: The Power of Ordinary Love

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podcast banner Bishop Michael Curry: The Power of Ordinary Love

Bishop Michael Curry: The Power of Ordinary Love

Sometimes it feels like the world is irreparably broken. A climate crisis leading to more hurricanes, fires, warming oceans, a political season that has ripped families and friends apart. A pandemic that has left us more isolated than ever and even more delicate than before. Even the strongest among us may wonder, "What hope is there? Is love enough to save us?" My guest today is someone who believes in the kind of love that can change everything. In this episode, Kate and Bishop Michael Curry talk about the power of ordinary and extraordinary love to remake ourselves and our communities along with us.

Guest

Bishop Michael Curry

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. Elected in 2015, he is the first African-American to lead the denomination. He was previously bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. He is an advocate for human rights and author of several books, including his most recent, Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times. His message of love resonated well beyond the hallowed halls of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle where he presided over the marriage of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry. He is married to Sharon Curry and have two daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth. They live in North Carolina.

Transcript

Kate Bowler:                     Hi, I’m Kate Bowler, and this is Everything Happens. Look, the world loves us when we are good, better, best. But this is a podcast for when you want to stop feeling guilty that you’re not living your best life now. We’re not always celebrating our zen like mindset. I used to have my own delusion of living my best life now. I’m a Duke professor, wine and cheese enthusiast, wife and mom. Instagram gold. Then I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. That was four years ago and I’m still here. And now I get it. Life is a chronic condition. The self-help and wellness industry will try to tell you that you can always fix your life. Eat this and you won’t get sick. Lose this weight and you’ll never be lonely. Believe with your whole heart and God will provide. Keep this attitude and the money is yours. But I’m here to look into your gorgeous eyes and say, hey, there are some things you can fix and some things you can’t. And it’s OK that life isn’t always better. We can find beauty and meaning and truth, but there’s no cure to being human. So let’s be friends on that journey. Let’s be human together.

Kate Bowler:                 Sometimes it feels like the world is irreparably broken. A climate crisis leading to more hurricanes, fires, warming oceans, a political season that has ripped families and friends apart. A pandemic that has left us more isolated than ever and even more delicate than before. Even the strongest among us may whisper into the void, if only to themselves, I am tired. What hope is there? Is love enough to save us? My guest today is someone who believes in the kind of love that can change everything. The most, Reverend Michael Curry is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, which means he serves as the chief pastor, president and CEO of all Episcopals everywhere I like to think, kind of a big deal. And before receiving that esteemed title, Bishop Curry served in parishes in North Carolina, thank you, Ohio and Maryland. And who could forget his impassioned sermon during the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018? Tears people. Watch it if you got a minute. Bishop Curry is the author of several books, including The Power of Love and Love is the Way: Holding onto Hope in Troubled Times. Bishop Curry, oh my gosh, I’ve been so excited about this. Hello.

Bishop Curry:                 Oh, hello Kate, it’s wonderful to meet you this way.

K.B.:                 Thank you for growing up in the Canada of America, which is to say, Buffalo, New York. I love that you are almost Canadian.

B.C:                 Yes.

K.B.:                Your dad was Episcopal and then your grandpa was a pastor. Tell me, you come from an amazing lineage that goes way back.

B.C:                My father was an Episcopal priest and now my grandfather, and his father was a Baptist preacher. And before that, we don’t we we have no idea what they did.

K.B.:                It was a dark time before them.

B.C:                 Exactly, and when I finally kind of said that, I thought I wanted to go to seminary and be ordained. You know, my father jokingly, he was joking, but he did say, good God, can’t somebody in the family do something else beside preach, can’t we get somebody to earn an honest living?

K.B.:                 Can’t we get a banker or a dentist around here?

B.C:                 Exactly, something, anything (laughing).

K.B.:                 But you have this amazing story about your dad’s first encounter with the Episcopal Church and what he learned about the just like this, the importance of togetherness through the communion cup. Would you mind telling me?

B.C:                 Yeah, my father had been raised a Baptist, as had my mother, but she became Episcopalian along the way, actually in college. They met when she was teaching at Wilberforce University, which is a historically black college in Ohio, Southern Ohio. And he was teaching at the undergrad school, and he was in the divinity school. He was Baptist, but he was in the Payne Divinity School, which is which is still there. It’s a Methodist seminary, Methodist College and Seminary, AME Church. They met and started dating. And at some point she took him with her to church. And he had never been in an Episcopal church. I don’t even know, he probably had heard of it, but he hadn’t been in one for sure. And so he really had no idea what it would be like. So he went with her and in those days, I mean, Episcopal churches are a little bit looser now, they used to jokingly refer to Episcopalians as God’s frozen chosen. I think we have thawed out a little bit. But in those days, there was no thaw. It was glacier. It really was. I mean, nobody talked, it was really absolutely quiet. So he was kind of freaked by that. And the service was very quiet and everything was quietly done. It came time for communion. He didn’t notice anything different as they people were receiving the bread because everyone got a small piece of the bread wafer bread. But when it came to receiving the cup, one: they had wine in the cup one and two: there was only one cup. And everybody was drinking out of the same cup. Well, that was different for him. He hadn’t experienced communion like that. But what was also striking was I don’t know if they were the only black people or people of color in the service that day, but they were among the few. And when mommy went up, she was surrounded on either side by white people. And he noticed that the priest came around with the cup, common cup with chalice and everybody was receiving. He got to my mother and she received of the cup. And then daddy would say that he looked to see the person next to her was white to see if they would drink from the same cup. This is the mid 1940s and black folk and white folk didn’t drink from the same water fountains, much less the same cup. And the next person there drank from the cup and on and on and on, and he said later, when he’d tell us the story, that was a turning point for him because he said any church where a black folk and white folk drink from the same cup knows something about the gospel, what Jesus was trying to teach us that I want to be a part of. And that was a turning, and when he decided that he wanted to be ordained in the Episcopal Church and that led to the rest of his path. It was an experience of God realized in community. Now the Episcopal Church did not fully live up to that.

K.B.:                 Right.

B.C:                This is the late 1940s. I mean, this is, I mean the military had just been integrated just after World War II.  So this before Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas. This is before the Montgomery bus boycott. This is before any of that, but he saw a vision of what I would call, with Dr. King and Josiah Royce before him and others had called a vision of the reality of the beloved community, which is what the Bible talks about when it talks about the kingdom of God.

K.B.:                 That’s such a good reminder when we feel disappointed by the institutions that are meant to hold our humanity, that sometimes we get a glimmer of the thing that we might yet be. Yeah, that’s really powerful. I mean you write so beautifully about your grandma. There is this gorgeous quote you say. I can see and hear a host of witnesses like her who learned how to love and find life in spite of the titanic power of death, hatred, violence, bigotry, injustice, cruelty and indifference. Like she just understood something about how hope works. It sounds like. Like maybe you get a glimpse and then you somehow figure out how to see through those eyes for the rest of the weak.

B.C:                Yes, that’s it. And all you get is a glimpse. You don’t get the full.

K.B.:                Yeah. It’s the worst.

B.C:                 You get the glimpse, and sometimes that glimpse is just, that is enough.

K.B.:                 Bishop Curry, maybe you could, like, explain how and why we don’t get more of the kingdom of God here on Earth. I’ve been a little disappointed to realize that in life we only get a glimpse, unfortunately. And then so much of the work of living is just like the work of remembering saying like, wasn’t there a second there where like you saw it and I saw it, like something really beautiful was possible.

B.C:                 One of the things that occurred to me in writing this book that really did, that I had not thought about, I actually hadn’t about before. It was when I looked back, there’s an old gospel song, it says when I look back and wonder, when I look back and wonder, I realize that certainly at a period of childhood trauma with the sickness and death of your mother, that goes on for a long period time. Part of what helped us navigate that, and I wasn’t aware of it at the time, was that my sister, my father and I, we were enveloped or part of a community that really did become a community of love. Now, I mean, it wasn’t schmaltzy love. This was at times, it was tough love for my sister and I for the two of us, but it was because, you know, when we were visiting grandma in New York, when momma got sick, my mother has this massive cerebral hemorrhage. Long and short of it, she ended up in a coma for a year, over a year before she died.

K.B.:                 Oh, wow.

B.C:                 We had to go back to Buffalo to go to school. This is August, so we were just there visiting. But we go back to Buffalo, Daddy shuttles literally. He does services on Sunday, and I assume on Friday and Saturday he did kind of church stuff. And then on Monday, he would get in the car and he would drive eight hours from Buffalo to New York. He did that every week.

K.B.:                 Wow.

B.C:                 He would take us to the home of family friends who were church members Dr. and Mrs. Bullock. And we went to their house which wasn’t that far from our house, but that’s where we stayed for a couple of days. Daddy would come back usually Wednesday evening, and this routine would go on not quite a year, but but certainly half a year at least. And then eventually they were able to bring her to Buffalo. What I didn’t know as a kid was when they brought her to Buffalo, she was in a nursing home then no longer in a hospital. Blue Cross and Blue Shield ended when you left the hospital. Daddy had to start working two jobs. He wasn’t making enough money as pastor of a church.

K.B.:                 Of course.

B.C:                He wasn’t making that much money, I mean a decent amount, but not enough to be able to pay, a nursing home bill every week. I mean, every week. Anyway, so he’s got that level of burden, but we were surrounded by this community of friends. My cousin Bill moved from Ohio, came and stayed in Buffalo, and so he helped babysit when that was necessary. Grandma, you know, hit the road, kind of was there half the time. I mean, there was a community of Pete Josie Robins, who I talk about in the book, I mean I can name the people who actually took care of pieces of our lives. And I wasn’t even aware of it and they helped us navigate. Grandma used to joke with my father, because she used to say, you know, I don’t understand Episcopal Church. Grandma was a Baptist, and church was a little bit more lively then than it was in the Episcopal Church, at least in those days. And Grandma says, well how y’all know when somebody gets the Holy Ghost? And they would banter back and forth, these used to pick with each other all the time, their normal routine. And, I remember her always saying, she said, you all look like martians walking around church. And she would imitate them and be like “whoooeaoh”. You know, the sound. And I don’t know why she came to that. I have no idea why she, what made her say this, and I just happened to be there to hear her. And she said, you know where the Holy Ghost of the Holy Spirit is when you see love like this.

K.B.:                 Yeah. That group project kind of love.

B.C:                 Yes, you got it. She understood on some deep level, that you know, there’s that medieval hymn where true love is found, God himself is there. That is in community of love in those moments when we actually sense love, when we give it and receive it. This stuff is real. There’s a reason it feels good when you know your loved, and if feels lousy when you know you aren’t.

K.B.:                Yes, totally. And it’s so, everything you’re describing, is so like you’re a little kid who suddenly needs every single other person in the community to pitch in to like, help you get homework done and make sure you have food and make sure you get hugs and get taken where you need to get taken. And like the feeling of being a group project. Like that kind of dependance can be the most gorgeous demonstration of like the ordinary acts of love.

B.C:                 Yeah, and sometimes as close, outside of a mystic vision, it’s close to experiencing the actual reality of God present in our midst.

K.B.:                 For anyone who thinks they have to lock themselves away and then devote themselves to 200 hours of spiritual solitude, no or you could just go to a church when you have lots of needs. And then that’ll do it.

B.C:                 Just find community, that’s right. It’s true

K.B.:                 Need lots of things. But the truth, I mean, that’s everything you’re describing exactly how I came to know a much more like powerful feeling of God’s presence and the importance of just being surrounded by community is when I couldn’t pretend any longer that I didn’t need everyone. Like I was without other people I would have been bankrupt and my family would have been alone and my kid would have, when I look at my son’s childhood and the intense completeness I can see in his personality – like a kid who knew he was loved. I think like, oh, that was yeah, that was, that was the church, that was the community. That was God. I could not have done that on my own.

B.C:                 That’s what faith community is. That’s what human community is. That’s what that’s about. It’s not shmaltz. It’s necessary for human growth in life to thrive.

K.B.:                 It’s not extra. It’s the thing. But I’ve chosen independence and I just want to have the internet and all my time alone. It is hard at this like to, to have that, I don’t know, I think you’re right when you get a glimpse of what it feels like to be dependent, and then to be made complete by others. It does really, kinda open you up to the possibility that maybe we are made for togetherness.

B.C:                 Yeah there’s no, not a doubt in my mind about that. You know, even that day, you know, preaching it at St. George’s Chapel. I realized that there was a whole host of people who formed and shaped me to say what I said. It wasn’t just Michael Curry, I know that. It was a host of people and they were speaking in that moment. And I think back, you know, I mean, there was a moment after after the sermon I sat down, and cause the nice thing is after you preach you’re finished. So, you know, you can relax now. Right.

K.B.:                 Yeah.

B.C:                 So I was just in one of those moments, and I for whatever reason, I thought about my grandmother. And I thought about the host of slave ancestors that I never knew who were before me. And I thought about them. People who lived without hope. At least hope in this world. And yet, you know, they believed in a God who’s bigger than time in history. They didn’t know how it was gonna all work out. But somehow that God saw them through, and would see it through to the end. And I said they were here today. They were, they were like the Bible says, a cloud of witnesses. Man, I tell you when your life is lived as part of something greater than yourself then yeah, you can catch,  you could march through hell for a heavenly cause if you have to.

K.B.:                 Yeah, because you get to be part of the story that is about you and is not about you at the same time, which is it’s for you because God loves you. But it’s you know, it was such a striking image, right? So you’re like preaching at the fanciest wedding that my eyes will ever see.

B.C:                 Or mine.

K.B.:                 There’s like billions of viewers and like you’re in the presence of the Queen, and you were talking about like the sheer force of love. It seemed like part of the conclusion, at least I drew from the response it got, was that we are we are a culture who is so hungry for it. Was that your was that your conclusion too? Where you thought, this is a story that needs to be told about the heart of God and ours.

B.C:                 You hit it. That’s exactly it, Kate. I was convinced that this was the message. I didn’t know how it would be received. I mean, I well, I mean, I thought it would be received. But, you know, I really assumed pretty much I would preach and, you know, then the TV station, they might even while I was preaching, go to commercial. I really didn’t know. You know there’s a passage in the New Testament it’s in 1 John, that just says God is love. If that is true, and I believe it is, that means God is the source of all love. And that also means that since we have been created by God, we have been created by the hand of love.

K.B.:                 Mhmm, Yeah.

B.C:                 We’ve been made by the God who is love, for love, to love and to be loved. That is as much a part of us, that is the essential core of us. I got a feeling that’s part of what the Bible is getting at when it talks about us being made in the image of God, you know, in Genesis that somehow that the hand that made us is divine, is love, and that love is part of who we are. And I think the sermon had resonance, not, I know it wasn’t, because it had nothing to do with me, it had resonance because love is the core of who we really are and when we live in harmony with that it’s when our lives resonate.

K.B.:                 I love that. I also, I was so struck by your definition of the opposite of love. You say it isn’t hate. It’s selfishness.

B.C:                 If you look at love, especially biblical love, and in the New Testament in particular, the word agape is used frequently, in the language of Jesus, I mean, on the lips of Jesus. And that agape is I mean, there is philia, the Greek word philia for friendship, brotherly love, you know Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, that kind of stuff. Philia, and that’s one sort form of love. Eros is a romantic form of love. You know in the Greek language, has four words for it, but three of them are used eros, philia and then agape which is really that’s more self giving, sacrificial love that seeks the good in the well-being of others as well as the self. That’s most frequently, you know, when the Bible says God so loved the world, that wasn’t eros, I mean that would be kind of weird.

K.B.:                 Even though some of our contemporary praise songs sound like it.

B.C:                 Yeah. Yeah, that is you’re right. But we trust that its agape. And you know the images of Jesus going to the cross, it’s interesting, he talks most frequently about love, if you look in the Gospels, most of the passages about love where Jesus is teaching about love happen as he’s approaching the cross, as he is about to sacrifice his life. That’s because agape this kind of love is self giving, unselfish, it seeks the well-being of others. Now, what’s the opposite of that? Well, the opposite of that is self-centeredness. And and you can see this actually play out in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians, where you have that great love chapter, you know, though I speak on the tongue of men and of Angels and have not love, I am a noisy gong, clanging cymbal and read at weddings and that kind of thing. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13, not for a wedding. Now it applies to a marriage, and any relationship. He wrote 1 Corinthians 13 because he was dealing with a church that was riddled with self-centered selfishness and egotistical selfishness. And that church community was being torn apart by it. And he said, this is not gonna work, this way will not work. And he and he says, I will show you a still more excellent way. And then he says, though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, that the love was the corrective. It was the cure for a faction driven, divided community. I want to suggest that what was true for a church in ancient Corinth, is true for a United States of America.

K.B.:                 Yes. Go on, say more.

B.C:                 It is true for families. It is true for communities. And it doesn’t matter. This isn’t about a particular religion. This kind of love is truly ecumenical and truly intra-religious. This is bipartisan. This applies to all of us. It’s about human community. It is about a way of seeking the good and the well-being of others as well as the self. It is transformative and can transform our unhealthy, unenlightened, selfish interests in things into nobility, and into beauty and into community.

K.B.:                 Yeah, that’s right. So when the world feels so unlike that place. Right? Where people are without healthcare in a pandemic. There’s food shortages. There’s the world on fire. How do we find the motivation to keep loving with that, that us, that community centered vision?

B.C:                 One, it is a decision that this is how you want to be.

K.B.:                 Yeah, well, you do have to decide that that’s what you want to do.

B.C:                 Yes. And I kind of referred to it as like you have a daily altar call with yourself.

K.B.:                 Hey, I you’re like cool anyone to go to the front and decide today.

B.C:                 Are you willing to come down and say, yes, you willing to give your life at least this day? Are you willing to say yes?

K.B.:                 Alternative theory, I could call you every morning and you could just help me decide. I just I’m just putting it on the table.

B.C:                 That’s exactly right, Kate. You know, so you’ve got to decide. And I think that’s part of, it can be part of a daily ritual of making that decision. You know, I mean, I like that old song I have decided to follow.

K.B.:                 Yeah. Today is about us.

B.C:                 Today is about us. It’s not just about me. It’s gonna be about us. God, I need your help to do that, because I like me, and sometimes I like me more than I like we. You gotta help me do this

K.B.:                 Yes, yes, yes! And also, I’m disappointed. And also, I’m frustrated and also I dreamed something, and now it’s over. And now I just want to burn it down. Like, now I’m tired. But you don’t understand, Bishop. I’m tired.

B.C:                 You got it. That’s real. That’s real, so you got to make a decision. But then I do think, I think we’ve got to have help and aid beyond ourselves. I mean, I just think you need God to help pull this one off. I just don’t think my, I like that old Broadway show, my arms are too short to box with God. I don’t have the power on my own. I mean, you need some some help. And if God is the source of love, if it’s true that God is love, then I need some of that love that is God to help me be the most loving Michael that I can be. So, that’s where spiritual practices, to kind of stay in touch with God and just kind of, you know, set some time to be in touch with with God, who is the source of the energies of love to get in touch with that God. And then I really do think you need a community of support.

K.B.:                 Yeah.

B.C:                 Because let me tell you something. This is, this is recovery work. You can’t do that by yourself. You need a community that will support you and hold you accountable, and it will prod you along the way. That’s what I really believe faith communities at their deepest roots are like. I mean, I really do. I think that’s what they were in their origin, I think that’s the part of the point of them. That’s not always the case, but to either find a community of love and support. Or create one if it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t, I will admit, it doesn’t always have to be a religious one. Let me give an example. My wife would kill me for saying this. She and her sisters and cousins, they had what they had called bookclub, and they had book club every month. And, you know, I remember at one point, I said well what book are you all reading? And she couldn’t give me an answer. And I said wait a minute, what kind of book club is this? And I tease them all the time. I said, that’s the most unusual book club. I said, if Oprah Winfrey knew about this book club, she’d say this isn’t no book club.

K.B.:                 She walks in the door, you’re like, what’s the plot? You don’t know.

B.C:                 You don’t know! What it is is the books are the occasion for them to gather. It is a community. That’s what’s going on there. And that’s what I mean by community. It’s  where people come together, it may be occasioned by something like a book or it may be occasion as something that you do together like runners. I don’t know. It could be a whole lot, but it’s a community that actually shares life together with each other over time. And over time, it has a way of supporting each other, even when people aren’t consciously aware that that’s what they’re doing.

K.B.:                 Yeah, that they’re being carried. They thought like, oh, I’m contributing. Like no best version, you’re being carried.

B.C:                 You’re being carried, yeah you thought you were carrying yourself. No you weren’t carrying yourself. Exactly. And that’s what I realized was was easier when I was growing up. It was different world. It was it was almost intrinsically communal.

K.B.:                 Yes. And now we have to go out of our way to find ways to move emotion into action, because it is, it is hard. I mean, especially right now with a pandemic. It exacerbates our loneliness, our hyper individualism, our sense that we were we should be self-made. Man our culture is so unkind when we feel dependent. Just totally unkind.

B.C:                 Kate, you’re right. There are people out there. You have to find them and you have to find it or create it.

K.B.:                 Yes.

B.C:                 Find it or create it, but everybody needs to have a book club whether you ever read a book or not. My wife is going to kill me when she finds out I told about her book club.

K.B.:                 We know, you didn’t read it.

B.C:                 It’s true!

K.B.:                 There was one last question from the Everything Happens community I thought was interesting. They asked, if you had the full attention of the world again, what message would you bring right now?

B.C:                 Oh, my God. Wow. You know what? I’m not sure I would deviate, but I might go to part two. I’d say love can work, and it has. I remember, this was after the wedding, you know, I did interviews and that kind of thing and, you know, and went around, but I was asked to do an interview, actually was on TMZ. I know.

K.B.:                 That is a very spicy website for a bishop to be on.

B.C:                 Well, that’s what I was thinking, and my assistant said, well, you know, you want to get this message out or do you want to talk where you are comfortable? And I thought oh man, why you have to put it down?

K.B.:                 First bishop ever to be on TMZ. I’ll put that in your bio next time for sure.

B.C:                 It may be true I don’t know. The interviewer, said something he said, you know, a large share of our audience is composed of young adults. He said that’s that’s our primary demographic. And that’s one thing, and that’s why I’ve I haven’t listened.

K.B.:                 Oh is that why we have not been together before?

B.C:                 That’s not my gang. I don’t run there. And he said they, there was a resonance with that sermon, that message. He said that message really struck. He said, but our viewers want to know, can this really work? You’re asking us to take a risk. You really are. And can it work? And let me tell you that put me back on my heels. That threw me pushed me back a little. And I said, I’ve got to tell you, this is not without pain. I mean I can’t promise you a rose garden on this. I can promise you a life. A life that’s worth living and that matters. Think about, love is not, again, as not a sentiment, but a commitment to live a life that seeks, it really does try to seek the greatest good possible in every situation. Whatever that, you know, you’re never gonna get the full thing. What’s the greatest good possible? Seeks the good in the well-being and welfare of others as well as yourself. Don’t neglect yourself. But it really does seek to live unselfishly and sacrificially. Think about the people who’ve made a difference in your life, who really did it, not because they were going to get something out of it. It might have been a teacher who got a salary, but teachers don’t make that kind of money. They have to live with. I mean, you know, I mean, think about who are some of those people who really made it and made a difference in your life journey for the good. Who’ve helped you along the way. That’s what love looks like. And when you start to think about the people who’ve made a difference in the world for the good, very few of them were motivated by selfishness. Most of them were motivated because they wanted to help somebody. They wanted to ennoble humanity. They wanted to make a difference. That’s love. And that’s the only thing that has ever changed this world for good. So I told folks on TMZ, yes, you may pay a price. Yes, there may be a sacrifice. Yes, this is,  that that’s I can’t change that. But, yes, it is the way to live a life worth living.

K.B.:                 No, that’s it. We will be saved by ordinary and extraordinary love.

B.C:                 Yes, yes, sister. You got it.

K.B.:                 Bishop Curry, you are a giant flashlight of love and I have loved seeing you shine the way. Thank you so much for being with me.

B.C:                 Kate, you are a light. You are. You are a serious light. Thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you so much.

K.B.:                 Madeleine L’Engle, author of The Wrinkle in Time, among other things, said this: We must bless, without wanting to manipulate, without insisting that everything be straightened out right now, without insisting that our truth be known. This means simply turning, whoever it is we need to bless, over to God, knowing that God’s powerful love will do what our own feeble love or lack of it won’t. She continues: I have suggested that it is a good practice to believe in six impossible things every morning before breakfast, like the White Queen in Through the Looking Glass. It is also salutary to bless six people I don’t like very much every morning before breakfast. Unquote. Bishop Curry reminds us that the way of love is hard won, but it is the only way if we are to remake the world around us. So, even when it’s hard, even when it costs something. Let’s begin right now by blessing six people who we think may not deserve it. I know you already have names in your head. Yes, that person who posts ridiculous things on Facebook or that neighbor who never takes care of their lawn or that family member who has been really hard to forgive. Bless them, love them. Even today, if it’s just in your mind. And maybe somehow in these little practices of loving and receiving, we and the world along with us ,will be changed by ordinary and extraordinary love.

K.B.:                      This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. Huge thank you to my team. Jessica Richie, Keith Weston, Harriet Putman and J.J. Dickinson. OK, but for real. Come be human with me. Find me on Instagram or Twitter at Katecbowler. This is Everything Happens with me, Kate Bowler. 

 

 

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