Bill Shatner, the first captain of the Enterprise, and all of Star Trek, made a documentary interviewing each of the other captains. Each one brings all of who they are to the role. As I watched Bill talk to Patrick Stewart about the time when others surrounding him as the Captain of the Enterprise, tell him that he was essentially doing work that was beneath him as this Shakespearian actor. Stewarts response was essentially what I’ve done so far has brought me here to be able to do this work. In and of itself this is a beautiful witness to the value of work we’re doing in this moment, and of whatever work we get to do later on. Each one too, gives witness to the sacrfices made while doing this work, or any other work.
One day, out of irritation, I said, you know all of those years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, all those years of playing kings and princes and speaking black verse, and bestriding the landscape of England was nothing but a preparation for sitting in the captain’s chair of the Enterprise. – Patrick Stewart
There was a profound moment in this conversation where Mr Shatner seemed to understand that all he’d done before, including his own Shakespearian work, prepared him for and let him be the first Captain of the Enterprise. Each one of the captains: Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, & Chris Pine bring something unique of their own to the role of captain in their particular series, not only all of their experience as actors, but an ability to engage us in the story of the crew they are leading at that time. They bring their own personhood, with all their own foibles, strengths, frailties and sense of who they are, who they’re meant to be. Human beings are engaged in story, we are living stories sometimes with the ability to allow people to see us at our best and sometimes for people to see us at our worst. Sometimes we’re seen and sometimes we play a supporting role like thread used for piecing or batting between the layers.
We listen to the radio before drifting off to sleep, replays of shows aired during that day. Last night the host was speaking about friendship with Christ,, friendship with God focusing on Mary Magdalen’s friendship with Jesus. Mary Magdalen is the first to know of Jesus’ resurrection, the first to speak with the Lord before Peter and John. Oh to have that friendship with Jesus. Oh wait I have. Oh to be that intimate with my Creator, oh wait, I have. Oh to know it’s Him when he calls my name. Oh wait. I have.
I’d like to say I’m in this space right now, and perhaps I am in that friendship space with Jesus, however there are moments where I’m a lot more like Thomas than I’d ever like to admit. There are moments when I feel like Judas betraying him in some way. Sometimes I feel like that guy who has all these things and am unwilling to give them up to follow him. I want to think I’m in Texas because this is precisely where he wants me to be. There is more truth here than I know. One day I hope to see the quilt the Lord and I are working on together. To see the full design, and how the quilting complements with the design. When were the places I needed to rest before continuing the work because I wasn’t listening to the Designer, or when were the moments where I simply quilted in harmony with the Designer?
It occurs to me that Jesus leads when necessary, and shoves us along the way when necessary, sits with us when necessary and walks with us most of the time. I think too one of the Easter Season readings is the Road to Emmaus when Jesus walked with them teaching them, recounting the happenings of what we now live as Holy Week. They knew him in the Breaking of the Bread. Mary Magdalen knew him when he said her name. I know Him in the Eucharist, in prayer, in quilting, in talking with friends.
I am off to quilt and edit video. I’m learning a lot this year. I’m also reminded of a lot this year. I’m going to go find friendship and courage and that place where Grace and Mercy meet.