I grew up in a household where the adults never said they were sorry for anything they said or did. In later years the country singer, Marty Stuart, gave me language for my familial culture when he said, ” Nobody can hold a grudge like a hillbilly.”
One of the byproducts of this dynamic was a lack of opportunity to learn from failure. There was little faith that something good would come out of the recognition of error or hurt and an absence of the joy of reconciliation. Transformation entails risking acknowledging the old way isn’t working.
If hillbillies can hold a grudge, Texans clutch exceptionalism. It is very difficult for us in the Lone Star state to remember failure—our electric grid works just fine, doesn’t it? I was so pleased this week when Bishop Doyle wrote in a letter of support for our grant application to Trinity Wall Street that he wanted the Diocese of Texas to learn about mission real estate development from them because two previous attempts here in Texas had failed. He wants us at St. Stephen’s to assist in this work as learning.
This Sunday we will hear about Peter and his friends failing to catch fish after having been out all night. He listens to Jesus and tries a new way. The result is a catch so abundant that their boats begin to sink. Admitting failure, learning from it, and trying alternatives is part of the spiritual life. It keeps us humble and supple.
As we move forward in community, I hope together we will foster a spirit of truth-telling which can acknowledge failure, learns, and is transformed.
–The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector