I sat next to a woman and said, “Hello, I’m Clare”. She said, “Yes, I know. I’ve seen you speak twice already.”
Probably it’s the long blonde hair. Richard said “You’re looking very glam”. Well, what do you expect? I had other compliments. Or perhaps it is the depth of what I said, or how memorable it was. I was drawn to my feet, and on the question of “Living our faith in the world” I spoke first. After, I thought even if what I said was completely wrong, it was absorbed and transformed in the ministry after, one of the themes running through the music.
I am sufficiently clear that it was Ministry, even though I could not rationally argue that. I never can. I can only rely on the feelings. I spoke of that exercise of Jamie Catto, where we shouted our anger as at a pantomime villain. I said I want the energy of that anger. I am not sure I want to judge it too carefully. I am not sure how to word this, even now: I want to respond, and not be fighting my own responses, or too fearful of them.
I spoke first. Thinking about it now, after several sessions and many hours on “Living our faith in the world” I feel abashed. The idea of the anger, and the pantomime baddie, echoed through following ministry. One spoke of Samson: righteous anger brings destruction, for Samson and his enemies.
-We need sight and light to use strength and anger.
-Do we need spaces to shout our anger? Paint, write, dance, and sit in silence for discernment to bring intelligence and understanding to light.
-We are right to feel anger at the unequal society. One root of pain and wrong is the idea that people are motivated by money. Society emphasises competition not respect and love, and so not the whole of human nature.
At that point, I wondered whether I was moved, and thought, it is a foolish question. Then I thought, that answer dodges my responsibility. All I can say is I was drawn to my feet.
-Jesus was not afraid of righteous anger, but he used it exceedingly sparingly. Forgive, and pray for enemies. I have been a pantomime baddie, with judgemental thoughts and harsh notions: I forgive myself, for that is part of the human condition. We must uphold and support baddies, such as paedophiles and terrorists. I am a baddie: please do not turn your anger on me, as it would break me (she said). See if you can find a way of loving me. Pray for me.
No-one sins in awareness.
-The roots of wrong are the prevalent destructive, corrosive attitudes. Prejudices divide us. So many people are poor and excluded. We must encourage society to let in those who are waiting outside.
-The spiritual roots are in us, in others, and congealed in institutions.
-To face the principalities and powers, we need connections and collaboration.
This is only part of the Ministry, that part most relevant to my own. They are my notes, so I have missed bits. Mine was an extreme position. No-one fully agreed with me, especially not about not judging the anger- though we were counselled that if we merely agreed, we should not speak, as this is not a popularity contest. Yet I feel what I said had value, and added to the complexity and eventual beauty. Through our exercise, we came to a beautiful minute. With other things, the exercise led me to my spiritual experience on Monday morning.