One of the nice things about living with your best friend for forty years, is that you’re comfortable with regularly sharing your thoughts with each other. Mim is an avid reader, and almost every day she tells me about something she’s reading in one of the books she has in progress. Likewise, I tell her about interesting things I find on the Internet, and occasionally in books, magazines, or newspapers.
Last Friday provided a good example of our two-way sharing of thoughts. I did a quick check of emails and Facebook before going upstairs for breakfast, my usual pattern. A friend of mine had posted this picture (on the right) of Senator Hirono on Facebook.
I printed out the picture for Mim, along with a thoughtful piece by Joan Chittister on the “weariness” of the people of the church worldwide, and how Pope Francis may really bring some new hope. The new pope’s humility may indicate an ability and willingness to understand some of the concerns of the poor, and to respond lovingly to their practical needs, just as Christ would respond.
An hour later I was back at my desk, and Mim came downstairs to ask me if I knew anything about Teilhard de Chardin. I said he was one of the theologians we studied in a religion class my senior year at Wheaton. That was 43 years ago, and about all I remembered was his name. Mim said she had just read an interesting quote by him. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
What a clear way of describing the perspective on life I need to keep in mind! As spiritual beings, we are not confined by our human experience. That says a lot to me. I’ve been thinking more than usual about the temporary nature of life on earth. In the last few weeks, four people have died who have been extremely close to my nieces and nephews – a best friend, a mother, a father, and a mother-in-law. How comforting to know that they are spiritual beings, and that their spirit lives on. We all are spiritual beings, and our existence doesn’t end just because our human experience on earth has ended.
Now you know. The secret is out. This is what lesbians talk about in the morning – at least those who have been best friends for forty years.