You had a bit of a reputation of disturbing the norms by some unconventional approaches to love and life and who you served and how they repaid you for the gifts you offered them. The fundamental exchange of services and goods for money was one of the greatest challenges you offered others, requesting non-monetary exchanges thereby offering an economy with relationships and whisky I suspect as currencies. The way these currencies converted in the market exchange of County Clare are hidden from the view of this correspondent, although I suspect the custodians of law on earth and in the heavens – the police and priests – found the evidence they went looking for when it suited them.
I have had a bit of a reputation of being disturbing over the years. I am someone willing to interrupt normal or familiar arrangements to bring some new piece of information to light or discover a hidden gem amongst a deluge of data. I quite like the times I can be forensic, and love it when the dots can be joined and a new piece of the puzzle makes a picture complete. So it is with our spiritual practices, being disturbed can help define and clarify what might have been hidden or clouded. I had one such experience this week when a little child led a small group of pilgrims around her house to bless each lintel and honour, name and claim the sacred space we gathered. This little person held the order of service to her heart, not yet able to speak the words, her silence when called for, spoke like a chorus of angels. She guided the hands of those who needed to be held, welcomed and farewelled us all with dignity and grace. She set the standard of inclusion of the stranger and the guest. There is a blessing I love to invoke and this was one of those times it came to mind: May the peace of Christ continue to disturb you. I was blessed and disturbed into being more peaceful.
Being disruptive is central to the journey, not content to kick over a few pebbles on the path disturbing them from their resting place on the road, to really disrupt is something else again; it is to re-route the road altogether. Disruptive actions break paths, they fracture and create whole new ways altogether. The successful entrepreneur and enterprise doesn’t just disturb, they disrupt. I can be very disruptive – especially when the inner child is dancing or the recalcitrant teenager is in full flight. Being disruptive is endowed with meaning these days and there is a lot I like about the reclamation and use of this word in the world of innovation. After all, isn’t all innovation disruptive? The peacemaker disrupts by taking off her legs to show survival to girls who are lost and frightened that the light at the end of the tunnel is beyond metaphor. The deacon dispenses holy oils from Jerusalem and a blessing that transcends time and space as bombs fall in Gaza and those gathered in a kitchen unknowingly contribute disturbing invisible energy to displace evil of the other side of the planet. Parents beg the media not to trade their pain for ratings.
There has been a lot this past week to disturb and disrupt fellow pilgrims.
Blessed are those who disturb and disrupt
For they shall midwife the future.