A Sister (the fabulous Pheonix Rising, Postulant Guard for the Music City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) recently asked, “What called each of you to the Sisters and what you hope to create in the community, world, and/or yourself by your being a part of The Music City Sisters and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?
Other folks are asking questions too. Just today, my mom told me some of her friends recently had asked her,
“What’s going on with Doug?”
“Yeah, I keep seeing some interesting some interesting pictures of him on Facebook.”
With a smile and a laugh, Mom—my Saint Ann—proceeded to explain the best she could.
I’m going to do my best to answer the question and to provide clarification as to why I, a forty-seven year old man, would want to put on white clown makeup, false eyelashes, a dress, and a veil, and leave my house with a bunch of other people doing the same thing. I also want to be brief, as I believe I’ll keep coming back to the question as I progress in becoming a Fully Professed Sister.
Look at that picture above. See the person on the left? That’s Freudianshlip, my newly assigned Big Sister. Now, look at Freudian’s face. His mouth and his lips cannot contain that smile. It spreads to his cheeks, and to his eyes, and it reaches out through his upraised arm like a blessing, until most everyone who sees him has to smile themselves.
Look once more at the picture. Even now, distanced by time and space, it’s happening. Can you look at that picture, at that smile, at that blessing, without smiling?
I believe a heart-felt smile is an expression of joy. I believe joy is an expression of love. I want to be a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence because I want to smile a joyous smile, rooted in love, that extends from my lips to my cheeks and to my eyes and through my hands and becomes an infections blessing to all people, but especially to awkward people, searching people, self-conscious people, self-destructive people, hurting people, people like you, and people like me.
I believe we need more smiles, more joy, and more love in our lives.
That’s why, after considering a lot of puny names, upon my elevation to Postulant Sister of the Music City Sisters, I took the name Ann Wenita Morelove—because we do.
Not too long ago, I complained on Facebook that I was weary of Facebook. While I love staying connected to friends online, I had grown tired of political bickering, anger, yourcard posts (you know, those victorian images coupled with captions, even though they’re funny and awesome in their honesty), and food shots. I wasn’t anywhere near deactivating my account, but was tired of going to Facebook out of habit.
Now, other wonderful people where also elevated. Faegala Tina Pfischzoot became a fully professed Sister! (Woo hoo!) Chris Hart (Phoenix Rising) and I (Ann Wenita Morelove) elevated to postulants. But the reason why Eunice is the subject of this post is because she attacked her Facebook account like a sister with a gift card at the MAC makeup counter.
Before I went to bed, Eunice created a Facebook account with her novice sister name and I friended her. Overnight, she revisited pictures (263 pictures so far—Facebook keeps count, you know) where she had been tagged and she retagged them with her novice sister name.
This morning when I woke up, I grabbed my phone off the nightstand and I dutifully checked my Facebook newsfeed as I always do. Months of Eunice pictures had updated to my feed. The feed, my phone, and my morning was flooded, overrun, and overwhelmed with picture after picture of Eunice.
Mornings have always been a thin place for me if I give them the opportunity. What I mean is, if I’m not rushed to get to work, to deliver a child to school, to get to the gym, or if I’m not too hungover to care, mornings are a time when my spirit is close to the surface of my being. There, the Spirit, always present, can break through. When that happens, the purr and nuzzle of our cat on my face, the exuberant body smile of the dog greeting me at the bottom of the stairs, the gentle touch of my beloved, or even a good cup of coffee, can become vehicles where the Spirit touches my spirit and fills me with an overwhelming sense of joy.
For me, joy isn’t an emotion I can sustain because it truly is overwhelming. I have to back off from it or I will…actually, I don’t know what would happen if I didn’t back off from a joyous feeling because I’ve never pushed myself to sustain it. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because when joy fades, the feeling that replaces it is gratitude. I can live with gratitude. Gratitude is the perfect place to live. When I feel grateful and I express gratitude, I remember the joy from which the gratitude comes, and I become joyful again—if even a little less so—then grateful, then joyful, then grateful, in a spiraling cycle that leads to profound contentment, peace, and finally, love.
Seeing Eunice’s pictures again this morning opened me to that thin place. My spirit connected with the Spirit and the tears began to flow. What a lovely soul! What a unique spirit in this world! What a gift in my life and in the lives of so many others! Joy! Gratitude! Contentment! Peace! Love.
And we need more love. I ain’t kidden’, Eunice.
Find out more about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in Nashville here: http://www.musiccitysisters.org/
Visit the original Sisters here: http://thesisters.org/