For one brief moment at sunset, a leaf burst into the limelight behind my couch in our Family Room. Photographer’s instinct took over. Snap. Another moment, the leaf, among many others, returned to mere background in a room full of plants. For this one moment — the glory of sheer beauty!
“We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.” George Bernard Shaw was someone who knew something about the theater of life and how to focus attention on one subject at a time. Under the limelight is a phrase stemming from a 19th century technology for stage lights using quicklime to focus on one person creating a dramatic affect.
Those in the “limelight” attract and are given attention and greatness may occur becoming a hallmark, turning point, or a moment of decision for all who notice, take note, and give credence to the moment’s revealing drama. Notice, note, and giving credence — all three are necessary for core change to occur individually and collectively. Wisdom may take hold under such limelight. At the limen- a boundary: we may grow, learn, & embrace a fuller life or retreat, react, and shrivel screaming “Ohhh, What a world…!” Doused in such a flowing streaming light, we’re drenched with choices. Why not enact the flourish of Spirit’s wonder and the splendor of God’s liberating fullness?
A brave soul, a woman, a daughter of a famous mathematician and astronomer in ancient Alexandria, Egypt: Hypatia died 415 CE — loved mathematics, philosophy, and astronomy. She became a renowned teacher. She was attracted and was given the limelight at one of the most crucial cultural crossroads ever. She attracted some of the brightest and most aspiring persons in the entire empire. Under the limelight, she was given attention by many and blame by Christians. A mob of monk hitmen were sent to brutally end her life. Living at the crossroads of cultures can be challenging and a blessing. Brave souls occasionally step up and share their humanity’s full throated truths.
The limelight shines upon some persons who simply, articulately, and powerfully share, enact, or sing truths needing to be expressed in moments revealing the certainty of life-stuff others deny, suppress, or define as being irrelevant. Hypatia found her voice at the crossroads bravely. Snuffed, yes. Deleted, no.
At the limen – the event horizon or boundary of our awareness of life’s issues, we face choices. At our inevitable shared crossroads what kind of responses and resonances will we enact when brave persons dare to speak their truths that the dominant culture prefers to ignore, castigate, or denigrate? (Billie Holiday in last week’s sermon!) Subliminal influences affect us all. Such rising tides of feelings, prior impressions, and learned ways may inform our creative and renewing responses or we may allow them to compel seemingly necessary and natural reactions driving us into the waiting arms of biases and set-points. At the limen, we decide.
Jesus revealed that the Lenten journey into God’s presence is the journey into the discovery of the sacred soul’s wonder & beauty of the “other.” We need each other to be whole. The blessed community! Forever in all encounters, there the “other” is presenting us with choices! One road leads to wholeness with others. Another set of reactions compels us to recoil into conflict with others, life, God, and within ourselves.
Oh my, this means ME. Yup! This means US. Got it!
We’re all together with all of our subliminal conditioning, at the limen, the boundaries wherein we respond in love with an open heart or react in fear often out of self-righteousness. This is our liminal space of openness revealing the unsuspected realm of God’s possibilities for humankind.
Jesus, in Matthew Gospel chapter 25 shared some of the most shocking words: 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
See and comprehend in action our Oneness! Me? Yup! Us? Got it. Go on this Lenten journey. Notice, note, and give credence — to the sense “God is guiding me.” Trust your moments to our greater power encountering us on the way. People of the WAY come out and walk! Come out of the caves of no light. Find love’s expression on this journey through what now appears in the limelight!!