I don’t know about you, but I felt Michael Eselun’s sermon last Sunday was fantastic! Michael is one of our regular guest-speakers whom we are so lucky to feature once or twice a year. He is a hospital chaplain for oncology patients, and he weaves their stories as well as his own into the fabric of his presentation. He speaks about the shared human experience of how when life gives you lemons, sometimes there’s only more goddamned lemons . . . that get squeezed into wounds that we all share. Michael describes this as the “box of darkness” we all carry. Later, the image that stuck in my head the most was that sometimes when it seems like nothing can really fix what’s broken, we just want to be picked up like a baby and be held.
When we are at our saddest, most bereft and alone, we are like babies. A wise person once said that we are a combination of our previous ages all at once. Socially, as adults, we know we shouldn’t bother others in our times of need (maybe not even our own family members), but the modern world is coming to accept that this is balderdash. Depression, anxiety, and melancholy may run rampant these days, but the book I explore this Sunday, the engaging “Lost Connections,” by Johann Hari, my second interesting man, says we are looking for solutions in all the wrong places, instead of looking at the dearth of real-in-the-flesh connections in our lives, and doing something about this lack.
Johann Hari, who is about five years younger than me, impressed me with how well he relates his personal journey to finding solutions to his own depression and anxiety, along with a distillation of all the existing cogent scientific research. Spoiler alert: big pharma plus junk science makes for many a drugged American! The good news is that we are not so crazy after all. That for the majority of people who experience moderate depression, myriad solutions exist beyond the pills, including organized religion (like UU).
CA Assembly-member Adrin Nazarian is my third interesting man. Adrin has been our ally for several years, and he listens to us. He will be in our Sanctuary this Sunday at 12:00 PM, so please plan to stay after the service for FOOD, conversation and a fantastic opportunity to interact with this civic leader.
See you Sunday!