"Kickin' this Stone
kickin' this Stone…
kickin' these blues out into the open light
where moss can't grow…
…Kickin' this stone
Down this long highway
All across the countless miles
From the cradle to the grave
Past all my mistakes
With all their guilt and shame
Through the gentle rain of tears
Sweet forgiveness came…"
I love church…especially the Wednesday evening tradition of my own faith. I am never too inspired, too peaceful, too sure of my own spiritual ground to not have it bless me in unexpected ways.
I have learned that if I leave all my costumes, roles and titles out on the sidewalk, and just enter the door with a hungry heart…I leave fed.
Last night was no exception…and the blessing was so surprisingly BIG. The inspirational readings were on "opinion." Our little group meets in a storefront on a wonderful walking neighborhood street full of shops and restaurants and coffeehouses. So we place a sandwich board out on the sidewalk. It lists the theme of our meeting and invites everyone to feel welcome. When my husband saw the sign last night, he initially thought it said that the meeting was going to be about "onions"…thank goodness he was wrong.
The readings were strong and compassionate. The impotence of opinions rang through every citation. I could easily nod my head in agreement. Mary Baker Eddy says, "…mere opinion is valueless." I concur. But as much as I agreed with where the readings and hymns took us, I felt like crying…church often does this to me.
It was so easy for me to see that this spiritual premise about the valueless-ness of opinion is true. I can readily accept that any mere opinion about someone or something is absolutely valueless to me as a spiritual thinker. So why was this message stirring up so much sadness in me?
As I probed around in the darkness while sitting quietly in our small congregational circle, I came upon the stone that was gathering moss in my heart. It wasn't my opinion of others - or others' opinions about me - that made me heartsick. It was my opinions about myself. I realized that I had entertained opinions about my own mistakes and choices that left me filled with quiet regret and remorse.
I sat there and wondered if those feelings would ever abate, when I heard a young college professor and research scientist begin to speak about a recent healing he had experienced. I heard him say, "people often think that science is about proving something, but science is about disproving a hypothesis…and it only takes disproving it once to prove that it is not scientifically true." He went on to explain that if something is scientifically true, it must be true EVERY time. So if it can be disproved even once, it is not really true.
This sent a shockwave through the dark places of self-doubt I had been wandering around in. I was wallowing in a space where I was sure I could easily spend the rest of my life trying to prove that the bad opinions I held of myself were not true... that I would have to prove in hundreds of thousands of different ways that I was not a bad mother, a negligent sister, a forgetful friend, a less than perfect wife. But I suddenly saw that each time I WAS a good mother, an attentive sister, an alert friend, a compassionate neighbor, a good wife, I had disproved those false opinions I had harbored in the dark regions of my heart and stubbed my toe on.
I could kick them into the light and let them be good and precious stones…cleansed by tears, bleached by the sun, strong and ready to use for building a better view of myself...a foundation strong and sure.
It only takes one act of kindness, fidelity, attentiveness, patience, humility to disprove the validity of false opinions about ourselves...and others. It's good to be a scientist. To be Christian in my practice of this Science - even with myself - is heavenly.
You can see why I love church…