Sunday, January 26, 2020

"everything is holy..."

"When I was in Sunday School
we would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two,
and Jesus made the water wine.

And I remember feeling sad
that miracles don't happen still.
Now I can't keep track
cause everything's a miracle --
Everything, everything is holy now..."

Peter Mayer's "Everything is Holy Now," gives form to what is in my heart today. No matter where I look, I am seeing the sacred, the divine -- the holy.

This morning it was a pair of doves sitting -- one with its winged draped over the other's back -- on a low branch just beyond our kitchen window. It was a sacred moment.  One as deserving of reverence as the cantor's call to temple, small hands folded in prayer, or a choir singing Handel's  "Messiah."

I turned from the window and there, on the kitchen counter, was a pear. A perfectly formed pear. A pear. Just a pear. But in that moment I could see the hand of God in its timeless design. I've always loved pears -- everything about them. I love their grounded shape, the changing blush of color that rises as they ripen, the texture, their scent, a taste unlike any other. Gazing at that pear I wanted to drop to my knees in gratitude.

Walking out to the mailbox I felt the first warm rays of mid-winter sun on my skin and a cool morning breeze softly lifting the stray hairs at the nape of my neck. An unseen gift. A holy gift.

Later, watching our frisky little pup standing nose-to-nose with a baby bunny in the yard, I bowed my head in prayer. I was witnessing a miracle. My very own window on the Isaiah prophesy -- a lamb lying down with a lion -- fulfilled, and I was blessed.  Everything -- every leaf turning towards the light, every flower arching its petals in a silent song of praise. Everything -- deeply, profoundly, knee-bucklingly holy.

Walking back into the house, I realized that the acute discomfort I'd woken with that morning, had dissolved in the light of this holiness-suffused day.

I love church. I love the sacredness of each opportunity to serve our community.  I love working in fellowship with others.  I cherish our unity of purpose in accepting Christ's mandate to care for our neighbors in need. But these opportunities for community worship don't start (or stop) at the threshold of our place of worship. They aren't contained by, or restricted to, the activities we -- as a congregation -- choose to support.

We can find them everywhere -- when a fellow member quietly offers a ride to a stranger on a stormy night. When a high school-age neighbor helps his friend repair the damages done to another homeowner's mailbox. We see it in acts of highway mindfulness replacing road-rage, and grocery store courtesy overcoming impatience. Every instance of goodness worthy of praise.  Every moment a sacrament. Everything holy.

Each moment of our living is a miracle. The gift of consciousness -- of contemplation, creativity, prayer -- leaves me speechless. Our capacity to love and to be loved, to appreciate beauty, to breathe, to serve others, to listen attentively to a friend's story, to sit bedside with a patient in silent prayer -- all of it -- holy.

On the first page of her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, offers:

"The wakeful shepherd
beholds the first faint morning beams,
e'er cometh the full radiance
of the risen day."

When we are most alert -- most watchful -- even the faintest glimpse of goodness is an indication of the divine All-in-allness. Even the smallest act of kindness is radiant with God's presence. And everything is holy -- now.

We don't need to wait for things to change, to get better, or to be fixed by an alteration of circumstances, or a plea to God. When we seize each opportunity to get on our knees and look for even the tiniest glimmer of His presence -- in the persistent growth of a blade of grass, a robin's egg cradled in a fragile nest, or the tireless work-ethic of an ant -- the sacred is found in the simple. And ordinary moments become extraordinary.

Or, as Peter sings:

"so, the challenging thing becomes:
not to look for miracles,
but finding where there isn't one..."

When we are most alert -- most watchful -- even the faintest glimmer of goodness is an indication of the fullness of divinity touching humanity. Even the smallest act of kindness is radiant with God's presence. Each instance portends His All-in-allnes, where everything is holy -- now. Yes, everything -- every little thing is holy -- now.

offered with Love,


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