Friday, March 21, 2008
Whispering Hope on Good Friday
Twice in the past week, people have reached my blog through Google searches for either the lyrics or the title of the hymn "Whispering Hope".
I know this because, about a month ago, I intalled a sitemeter on this blog. It provides basic information about the way people enter and leave the site and the time they spend on it. It tells the location of their internet provider, which is a general indication of where they are.
Because I'm curious, I always look at the referrals when someone from some other city reaches these words through an internet search. What is it, exactly, that they are searching for that lands them here? And, do the results satisfy or sustain them?
One time, someone reached my site searching for -- I'm not making this up -- kaleidoscope etymology. What they found was this.
Another time someone was looking for kaleidoscopes in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, which sent them to my page because of the name of my blog and an answer to a MEME in a comment section where a good friend named her hometown.
Someone's search for "barbershop quartet in Paris, Texas" landed them here.
Someone else was searching for "how to use amazing grace in a communion service" and landed here.
Today, though, I find myself wondering about the searcher in Clearwater, FL, searching in the same week as the searcher in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, UK, for the words to an old-school hymn of hope.
What they each found was this post I wrote about how my grandmother's act of choosing hopeful songs for her own funeral became a comfort to me not only at the time of her funeral but years later as I was in mourning for my father. That she could comfort me across time and eternity was an incredible testament of the loving Spirit of God to me. So, I'm grateful to these searchers in Clearwater and in Nottinghamshire for taking me back to that place. My hope, my prayer for them is that they found the comfort and hope they needed.
I'm searching for my own whispering hope this week. The sadness I hold this Good Friday is that the United Methodist Church preaches grace so beautifully and has a theology of grace that is both comforting and hopeful. But the denomination does not practice the grace it preaches. Too often, the implied message in their action toward their own clergy is this: "Yes, we preach and teach grace -- but it doesn't apply to you." I know this isn't true. I claim the grace of Christ, the grace of God, the comfort and guidance of the Spirit. And I cry for the church that somehow thinks it can stand as judge of who truly is deserving of God's grace. All are welcome in my understanding of grace. May it be so. Amen.
Posted by karen at 12:25 PM