News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
We’re talking about legacy – which can be both positive and negative – a loaded idea. “First, it means what you leave behind to your heirs (the inheritance or gift). And second, one can also have a terribly negative legacy—the bad stuff that passes on from generation to generation (the effect, the outcome, the awful con-sequence of a personal or family way of being in the world).”
We’re talking about the legacy of this past year through the metaphor of the Japanese art form and philosophical idea of Kintsugi (金継ぎ) to talk about the legacy of this past year. Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with a lacquer of powdered gold. As a philosophy, it’s about embracing flaws, imperfections, “brokenness” then blessing, keeping, and restoring them – quite possibly even making the item (person, community) stronger.
The prophet Jeremiah was sent by God to interact with a potter who repaired and replaced broken pottery. It was a prophetic action speaking to Israel of what God intended for them as a community in the exile to Babylon. They were broken in a way that only God could repair, restore and make whole.
We know today that trauma is related to the accumulation of unresolved stress. When we’re stressed we slip into fight or flight mode, our bodies prepares for survival which includes releasing adrenaline, glucose and other things into our body, as well as changing our physiology (parts of our brain contract and expand in response). When stress is resolved, and we’re “safe” we return to a balanced state – of health, peace, homeostasis. But if we continue to stay in a stressed state our nervous system never calms down and recovers, and the very automatic response of our body that intends to keep us alive becomes toxic and unhealthy. Over time, this heightened state of anxiety can lead to lead to varying physical ailments such as memory loss, headaches, impaired vision, impaired mental ability, back pain, body spasms, and eventually to such things as diabetes, high-blood pressure.
The bleeding woman who comes to Jesus has been in just such a heightened state for twelve years. For more than a decade she’s been sick, spending all she had, and been abandoned and avoided by her family, friends and community (according to Leviticus 15:19-32). She’s been considered unclean, deviant, less than human. What was it like to have Jesus allow her to touch him? To call her out in public? To call this woman orphaned by all, his daughter?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION & EXAMEN: