Messy & Beloved? Yes.

Beloved Community is ever on my mind lately, both who we are and who we can be. My meditations are guiding me toward increasing clarity about my vision of Beloved Community – it cannot be a state of perfection. Because humans are essential elements in Beloved Community, it is/will be cluttered and messy if it is to be realized.

In my favorite writing book, author Anne Lamott describes clutter and mess as something that shows us “that life is being lived… Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.”

Dear ones – We can make some messes. I look at the news and at my calendar and I am clear – messes abound.

So we must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, of the promise of Beloved Community.

Let us understand that we are loved and beloved now – right now – not just when we finally get it all together – but always, every day. Let this knowledge rest deep in our bones and allow us to love each other the way the Rev. Dr. King called us to – “love in action, agapic love not discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess.”

Letting go of the perfect, we find love-for ourselves and for each other. Messy, yes.  And real.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, 1994.
“An Experiment in Love,” 1958.

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  • Guest

    Perhaps I misunderstand your concept of community but I found that UU no longer “worked” for me when i left my UU church and came to a place where there was no prospect of that particular beloved community – when you are part of a supportive community of like-minded souls then all well and good. When you are on your own, that’s when the real existential issues kick in. That’s not a criticism of UU (although i suppose it is) in so much as i can only speak for myself – perhaps other people are stronger and less needful of a spiritual framework, face (or create for themselves) less challenges, or whatever. I envy that, but remember Martin Luther King was a Baptist minister, theology underpinned his “universal” statements. It’s not only the icing, it’s the cake.