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Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning



Friday, October 22, 2021

On desire!

Now there is nothing wrong with desire.  The question is, whose desires are you imitating?  To be alive is to imitate God’s generous desires… to create, to bless, to help, to serve, to care for, to save, to enjoy.  To make the opposite choice—to imitated one another’s desires and become one another’s rivals – is to choose the path of death

                     Brian McLaren (We Make the Road by Walking)

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In that infamous story of the garden,

where Adam and Eve allegorically wandered free,

even there a choice was offered.

 

Choose this day the tree of life, or choose the tree of death.

Choose the way of love and joy, or choose the way of rivalry, the way of judgement.

 

We know the choice that was made.

We know the result.

We live the result.

 

Each day we too get to choose.

We get to choose the way of true freedom, which is the way of love and acceptance, which is a matter of walking each other home,

Or we get to choose the way of competition, which is a matter of scratching out rewards from a dry and brittle earth.

 

Our choice does not have the cleanliness of the allegory.

There is no tree, no forbidden fruit.

Instead, there are advertisements, and cultural expectations, and influencers, and pundits and politicians.

 

Eat this!

Drink that!

Believe this!

Follow that!

 

And we are being asked to choose between the fruit of power and wealth, or the wondrous feast of community and compassion.

 

The choice matters.

 

If we choose competition, and the path of winning, if we choose the way of accumulation of money, we are changed.

 

We are drawn away from our original blessing, from the mutual enjoyment of Sacred bounty, into a world of strife and striving.

 

We begin to see others as competitors, not as brothers and sisters.

We become people who will do anything to win.

We hug things to ourselves, and become fearful hoarders.

 

We become “graspers, hiders, blamers, and shamers.” (McLaren)

 

We become people who willingly suppress, oppress and even destroy others, and in doing so, we destroy ourselves.

 

At least we erode and shrink our souls.

 

We will never be without desire.

It appears that very human trait was hardwired in.

 

But desire is not evil.

It just depends what we desire.

 

This day my desire is to mirror Love

And to do justly,

and to love mercy,

and to walk humbly with Love (Micah 6:8)

 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I desire love

I desire steadfast love [hesed] and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings”

(Hosea 6:6).

___________________________

 

Ah compassion where did it go?

That divine energy source (Fox) that fuels the Kingdom of God.

Where did it go, that capacity to see “the other” with the eyes of Jesus, with eyes which embrace and love, rather exclude and hate?

 

Has it wandered away?

Or have we sent it into exile, choosing instead the way of conditional love, and meaningless gestures?

 

I was driving along the road the other day, on a day that should have brought me joy.

The sun was bright, the mountains were covered with fresh snow.

As I rounded a corner a bear gamboled by a stream.

 

And yet all I could see were a stream of mammoth motor homes, spewing exhausting into our tired air.

And those flags, everywhere, tacked on walls, flying from flag posts, flapping from poles in the back of pickup trucks.

 

MAGA

 

All that filled my mind were the numbers of Covid-19 cases in our little community,

and the death notices,

and the unmasked faces in the Safeway store,

and the vitriolic calls for “freedom.”

 

And I lost it.

I simply lost the love.

 

For at least a moment I did not have a compassionate bone in my body.

Hesed had fled, not so steadfast after all.

 

And as I drove past an emblazoned house, my hand rose in a salute of disdain.

 

I was filled with so much anger!

And then, suddenly, remorse.

 

Love has a way of breaking through.

 

It suddenly hit me (perhaps it was the Spirit doing a little smiting)

Instead of cursing, I should be blessing

Instead of railing in anger, I should offering love (praying).

 

Hesed

 

Praying for myself, certainly!

That I might understand, might think about the “back story.”

Might have compassion.

Praying that I might see with the eyes of love.

 

But praying too for the other.

Praying that God’s love might penetrate.

That Sacred Presence might break through and make them new,

in whatever way God wants to make them new (it is not up to me).

 

So this day, as I meet that motorhome, I plan to pray!

“Give them traveling mercies, Lord.”

As I pass that emblazoned house.

“God bless this house and all who live in it!”

As I see that person without a mask.

“Protect them Lord! (and all that they meet)”

 

Today is a day for hesed.

For God’s love is everlasting.

 

 

 

 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Not silent God

… I am the living and true witness of truth, and the speaking and not-being-silent God

                     Hildegard of Bingen

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Once an old Jewish man,

who everyday would wander down to the “wailing wall” to pray

and leave a written plea in the cracks between the stones,

was asked what it was like to participate in that daily practice.

 

The man, who for decades had fervently gone to that sacred place

and prayer for peace answered simply,

 

“It is like talking to a wall.”

 

There are times when it feels as if God is silent.

We pray for peace.  Silence.

We pray for loved ones who are ill. Silence.

We pray for love. Silence.

We pray that people will engage their minds and emerge from a cult like mentality.

Silence.

 

Wars still rage.

Loved ones still die.

Love remains elusive.

People still refuse to get vaccinated, and still cheer the abuse of power.

 

But we have a not-being-silent God.

 

The Sacred does speak!

Indeed the Sacred rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

God is always speaking

God spoke and order came out of chaos.

God spoke and the light came.

God spoke and beauty was born. 

 

The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field,

and you, and me.

 

God spoke and Love walked among us.

And God speaks still.

 

Sometimes it is with words of joy and peace,

as God speaks through the rising sun,

and the fresh fallen snow on the peaks,

and the lone eagle in flight.

 

Sometimes it is with words that pierce and trouble,

as God speaks through the poor,

the hungry, the homeless.

As God speaks through desperate immigrants,

through those assailed by war,

and stricken by disease.

 

God speaks.

Sometimes God shouts!

 

Take care of the planet!

Take care of one another!

Feed the poor.

Welcome the stranger.

Comfort the mourner.

Put down your guns.

Get vaccinated!

 

Love me (God)!

Love your neighbor!

And don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process.

 

God is never silent.

Its just that sometimes we stop listening!

(or we allow other voices to drown out the voice of love).

 

So let us listen!

Let us hear what love is telling us, and live accordingly.