Wednesday, April 16, 2008

my soviet inheritance

i spent a year in russia back in 2000-2001. i remember one of my students used the phrase, "our soviet inheritance" to describe the way in which the collective consciousness of russians had been shaped by the seventy years of communist rule. i was struck by that phrase. it was profound. and i have often used that phrase as a template for thinking about my own personal history...
yesterday i sat in one of the pews at old orchard. i was waiting for moment when i would be called up before that company of men to come under their care. for nearly three hours my stomach growled and i felt uneasy, alternating between great fear and sadness. i wanted to cry. i went outside to smoke. i went to the bathroom three times. i drank a lot of water. i was nervous. it was just two presbytery meetings ago that my father, under threat of excommunication, demitted himself, that is excused himself from the oversight of this same group of men that i was asking to oversee me. i was actually scheduled to come under care that same day that my father left. as nervous as i was yesterday, i cannot imagine how i would have felt back in october. perhaps that was a grace of god that he spared me that experience.
it was an odd moment, and fraught with a potent irony that i felt in my very bones. there is an inheritance that we wrestle with, the inheritance of our parent's failures, the inheritance of silence, of abuse, and yes, an inheritance of grace.

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