Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Getting Mystical

"Our world is saturated with grace, and the lurking presence of God is revealed not only in spirit but in matter...  God intended for us to discover his loving presence in the world around us." - Brennan Manning

The pantheist who wraps his arms around a tree and finds in it power and comfort may have one up on many of us Christians.  I think the world is full of God's glory, a very real, gritty, raw, untamed, intricate, grand, minute, physical glory.  God's weight is heavy on the world around us, and many of us (me included) don't feel it.

When I bike, I often find myself zipping through the woods not stopping to allow God's weight to settle.  The weight of gentle brooks, the weight of birds chirping, the weight of dirt meeting moss, the weight of spider-webs and leaves.  The world of creation is full of God's weight, and I'm thinking about me and my post-ride McDonald's stop.

In-as-much as I can embrace, with the pantheist, although unlike the pantheist, the glory of creation, I can find where it is I belong again.  In other words, I too am creation.  I am not mere spirit.  I am not autonomous, but I have flesh, skin, senses and instincts that allow me to enter in and be a part of God's glory.

God made the door to his glory near to every one of us in creation.  And we see in creation that all is not right, that we don't fit like we should and that not only has the soil become hard but so has our hearts.  We are cold and numb to beauty.  And we are preoccupied with evil.  We seek the News on our local TV stations that speaks of tragedy and death rather than the Good News that speaks of hope, healing and renewal.  We are creatures whose instincts have been skewed.

Can you sense it?  Can you smell it?  Can you see it, hear it, feel it?  We have in creation, in the simplest mound of dirt, enough wonder and complexity, to preoccupy us for the rest of our lives.  And rather than diving in like little children intent on making a mud-pie, we step around the pile and wipe off our shoes to enter our air-conditioned, safe and controlled environments.

It's thoughts like these that make me long for heaven.  I can't wait to see the world renewed.  But maybe more true to the form of the Gospel, I can't wait to see me renewed, eyes open again with wonder, to see, to finally see this creation for what it already is - "very good."

I guess I'm turning into a mystic.  I hope it happens fast, before my mind "paves paradise and puts up a parking lot."