And by devout, I mean, deriving from the same route of "devotion."
Recent discussions about god-language and UU Christology in the UU blogosphere have me thinking about this.
I know that for myself -- newly rebirthed seminarian -- I have, and have always had, a pull in my heart for something transcending regular life. Something honoring and yearning for what can be found in The Great Mystery.
Benedictine monks chanting, Buddhist nuns doing 100 bows, a Hindu mother creating a small altar room ... these speak to me.
Where is the room for my devotion? The very idea could bring forth ideas suited for ridicule -- a young woman placing a candle on her daytimer or a young man making a mantra "To Whom It May Concern."
Those of us who have pledged ourselves to this religion, Unitarian Universalism, can shrug those off. There are plenty of jokes about "Whiskey-palians" and Baptists who don't recognize each other in the liquor store, too.
But we pride ourselves, so often, on what we are not. We are not dogmatic. We are not illogical. We are not ritualistic.
The unspoken is there ... We are not Silly.
If someone walks into our sanctuary and goes down on one knee at the altar, how do we, in our hearts, respond? If someone were to cross themselves, or bow repeatedly, upon entering, how do we respond?
These actions, in and of themselves, do not go against our UU principles. Because someone crosses himself does not mean he feels it is the only way to the Divine Unknowable.
I do not cross myself. I do not bow. Tracing a chalice across my chalice is cumbersome, at best.
But I am passionate about this faith. For me, it is not just "a religious movement." I am not just a part of similarly fashioned society. My belief in what we stand for is powerful. My hope for what we can mean to others transcends mere helpfulness.
I am not a Buddhist. My meditations are not exclusively with the goal of quieting my mind. I am somewhere between Christian -- meditation as contemplation -- and Buddhist. It depends on the day.
I am reading Simply Pray and enjoying it. I like the idea of a UU "Rosary." I seek the experience of communion with the divine.
You may think me silly. But know this: I am not the only one.
I suggest we make room for the devout UU.