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

Saturday, June 25, 2016


“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
― Herman Melville


as much as I am a loner
I understand
The importance of community

community often goes unnoticed
although we have this vague sense that it is there
even if we do not give it a name

I feel it every time I near the town in which I was born
I rarely go there (it being in the middle of nowhere, deep behind the sagebrush curtain)
but even now, almost 50 years after I left it to go to college
there is a tug at my heart
this is home
these people are my people

I feel it at weddings
and funerals
at family celebrations
and yes, I feel it at church
as the little flock gathers, old, young
farmers, professionals,
believers, doubters
to see if there is something in the idea of the Sacred

and find
that “yes, yes there is!”

but I think I (we) feel it most profoundly when tragedy strikes
when a child is killed,
when a crazed extremist opens fire with a gun

it is then that we discover
how profoundly we are connected

we gather in home
we call on phones
we share our pain on Facebook

we come together
and we help each other
we heal each other

there are many forces that would tear us apart
even religion

 there are many forces that want to push us
toward isolation
or aggression

we cannot let them win
for when we have lost empathy
when we stop reaching out
with acts of compassion
when we stop connecting
when we lose community
and communion dies
so too dies
our essential

for we were created for community

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