Tuesday, October 04, 2016

On a Hot Day at the Lake

by Henk Hart

In the 1980’s many dimensions of my faith took on new meaning. In that context I often experienced a yearning for more awareness of God’s presence and frequently I searched out private places to meditate, surrounded by unspoiled creation. Eventually these occasions yielded what I was hoping for and they have ever since inspired me to know that God is near.

On a hot day at the lake, the heat can dissolve the heavens and the waters into one another. Neither sky nor water-surface are visible. The heat has joined them in a veil of vapor that floats on the motionless waters, wave-less without wind. Earth and heaven have become one and no spirit troubles the waters. We feel peace. We can let go and become one with bluebells, bumble bees, brimstone butterflies, and barred owls, hardly aware of ourselves. In this state we can focus on any part of ourselves and feel it: the tip of our nose, our right eyebrow. We can lose all sense of time and space, yet experience minor details in sharp focus. We can also sense God's Spirit, whether buzzing with the bees or speaking in the silence. When this state resonates with our tradition of religious trust, our being one with creation yields spiritual guidance.

When I join myself to this unity of creation I can feel the warm, moist air surround me as a safe womb from which I can emerge a new creature. Such conditions inspire hymn writers and prophets to see the elements conspire together to declare some of the mysteries of God. The heavens declare the glory of God, says Psalm 19. If the warm wedding of water and the firmament quiet my heart within me and open my inmost self to speech from afar, I, too, can hear declarations of mystery that give me new life. So can we all. We can listen to the stillness and hear the speech of the heavens, coming soundless into our heart when all the earth seems to be a seamless gathering of all that surrounds us into peace.

God’s Spirit is our breath of life, giving us life in the truth that is God’s emeth in all relations, the covenant of love. That life comes from music, flowers, bees, and butterflies. People can be recognized as spirits when they make this all conscious and help move time into the right direction. To know our times spiritually we, as spirits, must search out God’s Spirit, to help us to make time for all things, all creatures. Listen to the birds, watch the flowers bloom. Make time for everything, for family as well as work, all spiritually enriching each other.

We are spiritual beings called to redeem all relationships in time, since in faith we can know the redeeming Spirit who is all in all, in whom all things move and have their being, whose fullness we are, called to be all things to all people.

Though the world is highly structured, it is not rationally predictable in its fullness. But other ways of knowing: meditation and prayer, being one with creation around us, seeking connection in illness, all help us when times are out of synch. The great connector is love, in which we connect with God and neighbor and which God manifests to us. The fullness of time is the fulfillment of all relationships in a simultaneity of faithfulness: all in all. Truth is fullness of the Spirit of God’s emeth.


This piece is part of the Ground Motive project From Henk's Archives.

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