Sunday, December 6, 2009

Comfort and Inspiration

I'm sick. Terrible cold, possibly flu set in this week and it's taking forever to fight it off. Instead of going to church with Mr. Pie and the kidlets, I'm stuck at home with a general case of the ughs. This post is an effort to comfort myself. This delicious bowl of oatmeal made me feel warm and cozy.

As did these scones from a couple weeks back. They were cranberry/lemon from Smitten Kitchen.

If you sometimes dream of scones, and can persuade yourself to indulge in the heavy cream, you must try them (or like me, tell yourself you'll work if off at the gym, and then lie around the rest of the day with scone smells in the house and one in your hand). I didn't mess with the recipe at all, but must admit I did use dried cranberries, because we are never without them at the house.

I also just finished listening to Speaking of Faith, which I usually do when I walk the dog, but was actually home to hear this time. What a great piece they did on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Despite the lack of church with the fam, this inspired me on many levels. Rabbi Heschel was an activist, opposing Vietnam, and among many other things, working with King on our countries' civil rights.

Being Unitarian, I have been asked about my faith "What's the point?" Since we require no creeds, and embrace all people on their own spiritual path, why don't we just go to Ethical Society meetings, or go on our own path at home? My answer is community and praise. The Pie family has no one belief, but we feel a need to have somewhere to express our desire for justice in the world, and a reverence to this awe-inspiring universe. Heschel's legacy is this same need to work together, no matter the faith, and praise God, no matter the form. I loved his answer to this question posed by interviewer Carl Stern in 1972:

Stern: That raises the question, though, if you're saying if God were to control every aspect of man's life it would not be living. And that raises the question why pray to God, then? If God is not going to interfere, if God is not going to intervene, if God is not going to help, what is the role of prayer?

Rabbi Heschel: First of all, let us not misunderstand the nature of prayer, particularly in Jewish tradition. The primary purpose of prayer is not to make requests. The primary purpose of prayer is to praise, to sing, to chant. Because the essence of prayer is a song and men cannot live without a song. Prayer may not save us, but prayer may make us worthy of being saved....

Amen to that! With that inspiration I leave you, as I try to provide myself some comfort with a good bowl of soup. I think that's going to be about as far I get today in helping God. Good enough.

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