I have a friend, Martha, who has as her email address “livingintheand”. When she first told me, very excitedly, about it, I thought “o-kay–y…” and didn’t get it at all. But it started me thinking. Martha’s “and” was, at the time, Boaz & Ruth. Black & White. Rich & Poor. The blessings for all were in the “&”, I think. The “&” is always a connector. It is a holy thing. Martha lives in it.
A few years ago, another friend, Lorene, and I were approached separately, to consider being co-chairs of our very large PW Circle. She was newly retired and new to the Circle; I was pastor’s wife and feeling the need for closer, deeper ties with women. We both said, “Yes”, not knowing a thing about the other.
We found that we had opposite/complementary skills and temperaments, so division of responsibilities was straightforward. Politics and life experience, however, gave us major differences in perspectives (within our basic WASP-iness). Time after time as we planned for what we hoped would be rich and meaningful meetings for the women of our Circle, we experienced the space between us as our “Holy 3rd”. We became, in our planning, “Lorene&Marsha”, where we both knew the “&” was the Holy Spirit, oiling against friction, giving utterance to wisdom not our own, showers of joy and gladness.
What I felt most sure of was that as we gave honor/trust/expectation to the space between the two of us — or among the 35 at meetings — the “&” would supply a holy pot-luck that would prove more delicious than any carefully scripted menu we might set. So, we met, breathed deeply, invited Presence, made experiments in not being in control of at least some aspects of the agenda, and delighted in the space between us — the Lord’s Table, not our own. And we feasted there.
The Space between your thoughts and mine your hand and mine your heart and mine your life and mine, is GOD-SPACE. A whole universe of Spirit, big-bang creative explosions, and dry dust particles holding the elements of LIFE shimmer in that space. Waters brood, waiting to drop onto dry dust. “Take shape, Adam! Be born, Eve!” Wind blows, dervish-swirls invade all un-chinked gaps. “Gasp!” “Breathe!” “Receive!” “Sing!” Connective tissue longs to leap onto disconnected bones. “Dance, my Body!” you and I are the poles between which the electric current flies when God says, “LIGHT!” As for me, I will leave Space, offer time, look for the flashes of brilliance between us.
Marsha Summers started attending GPPC with husband, Charlie, after his retirement from Presbyterian pastoral ministry. They both feel at home in the warm and open-hearted congregation that is GPPC, and look forward to hearing and following God in this place. Marsha is mother of 3 and doting grandmother (“Mimi”) of 3; choir member ,soprano soloist, and voice teacher; active with Coming To The Table, and Richmonders for Peace in Israel and Palestine; and on very rare occasions is driven to poetry.