In Body, In Spirit (Ingathering)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

In Body, In Spirit (Ingathering)

Rev. Julia Hamilton

There are two different ways to approach getting in to a body of water, like a pool, or a lake, or the ocean: The gradual approach, and the all at once submersion. The gradual approach begins at the stairs, or on the sand, with the foam washing up over your feet. A few comments about the temperature of the water might be made: “Oh, it’s chilly!” Or, “Gee, it’s not so bad.” If there are other people already swimming, inquiries might be made: “How is it?” Slowly inching forward, the body is lowered into the pool, or a slow wade out into the surf, arms raised above the waist. Exclamations might happen. Shouts of encouragement from other swimmers. Finally, usually with a bit of resignation, the shoulders go under, and the commitment to the water is made.

With the all-at-once choice, it’s a much quicker process, this commitment to the water. But there is a process, nonetheless. It usually starts with an appraisal of the terrain. Which side of the pool to stand on, or a momentary pause and scan of the surf. But after a quick assessment, the swimmer has made up their mind, and with a couple of sure steps has leaped into the deep end, or run crashing through the surf to bob underwater and remerge like a seal on the other side of a wave.

I think our culture has a bit of a bias toward the all-at-oncers.

There is a third option, and that is to stay out of the water all together. To guard the towels, or enjoy a book poolside. This person and their dry clothes are often the victim of splashing and big wet hugs from the more water-inclined.
But even those of you who are not swimmers by nature have had the experience of being surrounded with water; in the pool or in the ocean or just in the bath, we have all spent our time submerged.

There is the saying that the only sure thing that happens to everyone is death and taxes. But upon reflection, I add: death, taxes, and the feeling of water against skin. It is a universal experience….

Click here to read Rev. Hamilton’s whole sermon.