If I speak in the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I have to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13
Revolutions tend to get busy and loud and so it’s important to periodically huddle the team together, look closely at each other, and remember what all the revolting’s about.
Monkees, Huddle Up.
I started this blog because I was desperate for a place where I could relax and tell the truth – a place where I could quit volleying for position and start listening and learning from other women instead. I started this blog to practice loving better. I wanted to get better at loving. Because loving is a skill – a skill that is completely counter-intuitive and needs to be practiced. I started this blog because like me, a lot of women struggle with life, and need shelter from the storm. And I started this blog because I was sad about all the yelling about God. Because I saw the women I knew as a big venn-diagram, each her own hot pink circle of opinions and positions and ideas about faith…. but I detected a sweet spot in the center where all of those individual circles overlapped. And that spot was love and fear and courage and kindness. And I thought, maybe if we made that sweet spot our daily meeting place, it would change things for us. Maybe we’d remember that people are doing the best they can. That we’re okay, each and every one of us. That the time it takes to take care of each other is time well spent.
And it’s happening. People are loving each other well here. And when extraordinary love is created, it can’t be contained. It explodes and pours out into the world.
After all this time,
The Sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.
And so the love at Momastery seems to be shining and overflowing and causing some Monkees to feel inspired and empowered and ready to run out and change the world. And this is good, it’s gotta be. It’s why they say love is the most powerful force in the world. If you want to see a person explode into a million beams of light and warm up everything around her, remind her, as many times as it takes, of how beloved she is.
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved. To feel myself
beloved on this Earth.
Some Monkees have recently identified a noble cause that we are interested in exploring. Helping orphans, Serving the poor. This is wonderful, and yet tricky. Because the primary point of The Revolution is slowing down, telling the truth, and loving each other without agenda. Service work, though noble, is still an agenda.
Have you ever known someone who had a very noble cause but talked to you about it in a way that made your skin crawl? I have. And I’ve thought a lot about why that is. I think it’s because the moment someone’s cause becomes more important than the person in front of her, her cause is lost.
There’s a story in the Bible in which Mary, a friend of Jesus’, pours an expensive bottle of perfume all over his hair and feet to show Jesus how much she loves him. This was shocking because, well, people didn’t just go around doing that. I mean, awkward. And also because this bottle of perfume was worth a whole lot of money.
Jesus’ disciples got fired up about the extravagance of the perfume pour and may have accidentally gotten a bit self-righteous. They said something like, “Hey Lady! Why did you do that? What a waste! You could have sold that perfume and given all the money to the poor!”
And Jesus said something weird. He said, “The poor will always be with you, but you will not always have me. This woman has done a wonderful thing.”
Now your guess is as good as mine on what he meant. But I have a hunch that one of the many things he was suggesting was this: stay in the moment. Love the one in front of you, because this moment, with this person, will never pass your way again. Don’t hold back. Spend it all. Don’t trip over the person in front of you to get to someone you’ve decided needs love more. We all need extraordinary love. Every last one of us. Because we are all poor, in one way or another. Mother Teresa said “the greatest poverty is loneliness.” So we fight poverty every time we see the person in front of us as a child of God, worthy of all we have, instead of a stumbling block to a different person, a more important moment. We don’t have to save up love because God fills us with more and more each time we empty ourselves. If we concentrate on loving the one in front of us, one person at a time, we can’t go wrong. And we avoid pride. So that’s our cause. The person in front of us, always.
So we try not to be jerks first, and save the world that way, one person at a time. I am starting to think that not being a jerk just means loving people the best we can, one at a time. Loving each moment the best we can, one at a time.
And so some of us will continue on with the project, keeping in mind that the people here are not means to that end.
Two more things.
1. There are a lot of Monkees who need a service project right now like they need a hole in their Caravan tire. They have come here to rest and they feel like they’re getting the old bait and switch. Like Tova did on Giveaway day, they want to say in response to the service project posts… “I ALREADY DID HARD THINGS, DAMNIT!” I get it. I really do. There are Monkees who are dying to jump and Monkees who are dying to lie down. Everyone should feel free to do what she is dying to do. We all know that saying No can be as revolutionary as saying Yes.
2. Also, the Great Shepard Fold in Uganda is as Christian as the day is long. I understand completely that this will be problematic for some Monkees. Please accept my sincere apologies about that. When I emailed the brilliant Ginger Fox, panicked about how some Monkees would feel about this, she said: “I don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal. Just tell the Monkees it might not be the best place to donate their kids’ old Black Sabbath onesies.”
So maybe we could take her lead and just keep our sense of humor.
Tomorrow Mike and Megan will be back. With so much exciting news. And with more ways to get activated immediately, if you’d like. Love the ones in front of you extraordinarily.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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