What’s in a name? Part 2

If you hadn’t figured it out, I love Bagel Joy and every aspect of working with this amazing group of people!

I’m sure you are wondering what all of this has to do with the title of this blog, though. So let’s get to that!

One of the things that sets bagels apart from other baked goods is that they are boiled in water. Another is that they have a hole in their middle. That’s Holey!

Sometimes holes are poked into our being that cause us to feel incomplete. We strive to fit in, but all of our differences seem to be on display. The way we choose to dress, the way we talk, the way we look. And, instead of being in authentic relationship with others, there is ridicule, judgment, shame. Maybe our beard is too long, our hair too unkempt, our dresses too short, our children too disruptive, our wheelchair too obtrusive, etc., etc., etc.

We begin to back away from the space of community that we had so wished for. And yes. I’m talking specifically about the church. For an institution that’s supposed to be welcoming, it sure can be a place of condemnation! In addition to that, sometimes worship services can seem so irrelevant to every day life. As a clergy person I was constantly under attack for being “too political”. I once had to wordsmith around a reference to chocolate to ensure it wasn’t portrayed as political! I am not kidding!

Those holes that are poked into our self-esteem can deflate us to a pile of bagel mush unfit for baking.

But aren’t the places of our true inner self – the very places others like to poke holes – actually the essence of how and why God loves us? Think about it.

That scraggly beard and that crazy hair were both given to us by God. That autistic child was created with loving care in the womb by God. That desire to be who we are by how we portray ourselves is the very personality that God gifted us with. That “disability” that may be visible or invisible is a part of the whole that draws us together in community. It’s the holes that create a complete picture. We get “stuck” together when we bring our gifts and our graces, our unique personalities, our spiritual essence together with one another to create wholeness.

I believe God’s grace is like a good schmeer holding us all together. The bagel is good by itself. Yes. But the schmeer that fills up the inside of the hole can sometimes spill out all over the place in sticky, wonderful goodness. When we come together with our holes to be filled with the goodness of community, healing can take place.

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