by Lee Hull Moses
I’ve been thinking about that story Judith shared in her sermon last week, from David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College:
“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
I’ve been thinking about the water we swim in, and wondering how much we’re really aware of it.
I’ve been thinking about the President’s State of the Union speech last night, and wondering what it means that the entire chamber cheered so loudly when he declared (repeatedly) that the United States is the most powerful country in the world. I’ve been thinking about whether that’s a good thing, or not, and wondering why we seem to value power so highly. As one friend pointed out, in the Biblical narrative, the powerful usually don’t fare all that well.
I’ve been thinking about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me, which I’m reading right now, an open letter to his son about the reality of being Black in American today. I’ve been thinking about how we all have our own experiences, and how much we learn when we listen to the stories of people whose experiences are different from ours.
I’ve been thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr., and about that dream he had. I’ve been thinking about how far we’ve come, and how far we haven’t. I’ve been thinking about how I talk to my children about race, and the incredible privilege my children and I carry simply because of the color of our skin. I’ve been thinking about what our family can do together on Monday to honor King’s legacy and to keep working for justice in the world.
I’ve been thinking about the parable of the farmer and the seeds in Mark 4, and about that good soil needed to help the seeds grow. I’ve been thinking about the ways we listen, and the ways we don’t, and the water we swim in, and the world we live in, and the ways we pay attention, and the way God works, and the way we respond.
It gives you something to think about, this life of faith.