I’ve been challenged to sit and come to just the right way to begin this message today. This is a phenomenon that I haven’t experienced since I began writing enews messages in 2013. I suppose I am due for a bit of stumbling to begin, yet it does startle me just a little.
What I feel called to talk about today are the seats we on which we choose to sit. In the course of my lifetime I have chosen untold numbers of chairs, benches and stools to sit upon. I have on occasion opted to hop onto a table top or counter top, much to my mother’s consternation. I have even perched on the step of a ladder. I have sat on many a tree stumps and even the ground to feel the earth beneath me. All of these seats have successfully supported me and served their purpose. I have slid into a chair gracefully and I have tumbled into a seat as well. How we land may be just as important at where we land.
There is not a seat in my memory that proved to be more moving, more powerful, or more perfect than the chair I settled into Sunday. At the risk of being repetitive, I share the story of how these chairs came to be. For many years we were blessed beyond measure by the presence of our beloved Katherine Goodbar. She is the same Katherine for whom the courtyard is named. After her transition to realms beyond this human experience, Katherine’s family gifted us her patio table and chairs that were lovingly placed in the yard on Greenville Avenue. It was heartwarming to see young people sitting to enjoy each other’s company in the comfort of our yard.
One morning I approached Unity to find the chairs were no longer in the yard. They had been smashed to pieces that lay across the sidewalk and poured into the street. “Oh dear!”, I thought, how could this happen. I began stacking the broken pieces into my vehicle thinking I would place them in bulk trash. Yet, that thought quickly vanished as I could feel Katherine’s spirit in the shamble of broken wood. I knew there was one person who could make something of this heap of aged, broken pieces.
Many days later, I drove to the home of LaMar and Barbara and delivered the wood pieces to their workshop knowing that with time and LaMar’s ability, along with a hearty heaping of love, something wonderful would be created. Time passed and life happened, then Sunday LaMar delivered the chairs you see in the picture to Unity. I was overwhelmed with delight to see what had been created from what some would have considered ready to be forgotten or tossed aside.
I sat in the chairs and immediately felt Katherine’s gentle loving presence. It was not the usual space from which I share the Sunday lesson, yet there was no other place for me to be. I was compelled to sit, to feel, and to speak. As I sat in the chair for those precious moments, I felt safely and securely wrapped in pure love. I knew that I was exactly where I am supposed to be, doing just what I am called to do. It was a seat made for me. It is a seat made for you. The seats we occupy at Unity on Greenville are made for us. They are made for us to come, to gather, to honor each other’s experience in life. The seats in our spiritual community beckon us to come when we are overflowing with joy or when we are empty and need to be refilled. The seats in Unity are an open invitation to grow, stretch, discover, remember and to be transformed.
Just as the broken pile of lumber was transformed into two amazing and beautiful chairs for us to enjoy for a long time to come, so too are our lives transformed through the love that is shared in Unity. For this spiritual community and the transformational love that abides here, I am so very grateful.