Cotton Candy Dreams

I remember being not that little and watching the concession-person at the carnival magically spin the cotton candy into a fluffy pink ball to carry as we went home. Well, at least as we started home. I don’t think the cotton candy ever made it all the way home.
Once I started eating my ball of fluffed sugar, I was committed. Spun sugar is very sensitive. Cotton candy doesn’t react well to pressure, water, being eaten, or touched.

Dreams are hard to hold.

I have dreams of a Church where I don’t have to worry about the budget as I help people. A Church that understands what it means to want “younger” priests. A Church where every building and activity are fully accessible to all people. Dreams of Bishops. Dreams of change. Dreams of Pentecost fire, which cannot be put out.

Of course, I live and work in the real world. A world where the bottom line is too often the bottom line. My Church defines “young” priests as those under 35. Change is terrifying. We don’t talk about disability. And I’d rather not talk about the news.

Dreams are hard to hold.

For the seconds (it never lasted for minutes) I was holding my cotton candy, this pink, fluffy, caloric nightmare was the epitome of the carnival. It held a power that lasted longer than the fluffy pink sugar. I remember the sensation of those moments every time I think of the carnival, every time I see the (lesser) bagged cotton candy somewhere.

Dreams are hard to hold.

Unlike the cotton candy I used to eat, I don’t hold my own dreams. I meet my dreams, not once a year at the carnival, but every time I read about God’s mountain being a house of prayer for all people (Isa 56:7), when I read “let no one look down on you because of your youth” (1 Tim 4:12) and remember how young the disciples were, when I read about Jesus not just healing the hemorrhaging woman but insisting on speaking with her (Luke 8:43-48).

Dreams are hard to hold.

I am a beloved child of God. I have learned that means I have been given, charged with, graced into dreams too big for me. Dreams I cannot hold. Dreams God has been offering us and we have been grasping towards for millennia.

This is why Episcopalians have learned to ground Christian life in promises made with God’s help.

This is why I pray.

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP, 832)

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An Anglican/Episcopal priest, bibliophile, dog owner, and Montanan

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