Rev. Miller Hoffman
Open Door MCC
July 23, 2017


Sometimes reflection may happen just through poetry. No commentary, no contextualization. Just each one of us reading the same words and drifting in various directions, all True.

“Starfish” by Eleanor Lerman

This is what life does. It lets you walk up to
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman
down beside you at the counter who says, Last night,
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.
Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you
were born at a good time. Because you were able
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.
So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland,
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel,
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.


This Sunday is the fourth Sunday after Pride and Christmas in July. People say that every day is Christmas, but I wonder sometimes whether we really believe that, or if we do what do we mean by it? There may be as many Christmases as there are needles on an Eastern White pine tree. How does Christmas transform us, what difference does it make in our lives? How are you willing to be surprised and chastened and humbled by Christmas? And is that really something we are willing to attempt every single day? Join us at 10 am this Sunday to celebrate Christmas! In July! Stay after for a feast and fellowship. Open Door is and has food for our journey.

Rev. Miller