Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Maine on the LakeWe cannot attain
the presence of God
because we are always already
totally in the presence of God.
What is absent is awareness.

~ Richard Rohr

(Almost) every year the Randall-Bodman family travels to Maine for vacation.  We don’t go just anywhere in Maine, but to the REAL Maine.  The part of the state that is too far “down east” for wealthy tourists from Boston and points south to even think about visiting.  There on a piece of property bought by David’s great, great-grandparents, we stay in a tiny cabin built by David’s great-grandfather and grandparents, lovingly renovated by his parents, and now in our care.  It’s not quite wilderness – there are many camps on the lake and we have plumbing, electricity, and these days even Wi-Fi (well, some days). But there are bears and moose in the woods, eagles, osprey, kingfisher and loons fishing in the lake and beaver and otter living along its banks.  

We go back to that same small place of all the possible places in the wide earth, to be immersed in family history, to play and read and relax, together.  And to let the familiar wild beauty remind us that we are, indeed, always, already in the presence of God.

We thought when we scheduled this year’s trip that we would be coming back to a world returned to something closer to “normal.”  Instead, we are returning to more covid uncertainty, more and continuing politicization of mask wearing and being vaccinated, more and continuing effects of the climate crisis, more and intensifying refugee news. More of everything that made 2020 difficult.

As we move forward together here at Kairos into an uncertain future I am holding on to the reminder of God’s presence.  Not just in the splendor of the Maine woods, but in every place where there is life.  In the life we share together, in the space between and among us, and in each one of us.  As we move into our sermon series and book study based on Valerie Kaur’s book “See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love,” we will develop practices for seeing and loving the God-light in all human life – in each person.  I hope you will pick up a copy of the book and read along with the sermon series and join in conversation on Wednesday evenings as we go forward, together, in wonder, love and solidarity.

Together, let us love.