In the course of the last week, I have witnessed Native Americans fight for water and the rights to land and have taken part it in from afar; I have seen Brian McLaren speak on the spiritual migration of the church, and I have taken part in an evening of songs and dialogue about humans’ relationship to the earth and responsibility to care for it. And on Sunday at the end of the church-work morning, we went to a powwow and I danced an inter-tribal dance with people from all over the country.
As my four year old son and I danced around the arena, I watched the backs of the tribal dancers in front of us, marking the path for us to follow. We were all sorts of people, tribes, beliefs, world views, native and non-natives walking a giant circle, proclaiming that all were welcome into the dance. Eliot and I had no idea what we were doing, but we felt it, felt the movement change something in all of us, transforming us into people who see outside of ourselves and know that we belong to everyone around us.
All of these events that we were a part of last week were separate events, but they were deeply connected to each other.
As we prepare to vote for our next president, we feel the weight of the world shifting.
In the midst of world catastrophes and wartime atrocities happening everyday, we are holding our breath for something to change.
It seems the world is caving in on itself spiritually, finding its center where things are as they should be.
A world citizen is someone who watches the pulse of everything, who sees that what I do over here ripples into the lives of what they do over there.
World citizens speak and act, move and pray because they know that the cosmos shows its presence to all people– none excluded, none given special rights.
To care for our own political mess is to care for the lives of the more than 200 refugees that died off the coast of Libya this last week.
To care for Standing Rock and all minorities to who fight oppressive systems is to re-imagine the entire soul of the church.
To care for our own children is to create a future world with a little less destruction, if we can figure out how shalom really works.
If we truly want to say that God is a not a cultured God, we have to step into our own wider nets.
If God is not a culture, it means our attempts to control and corral fall short, and we’re left with the only responsibility we were ever given in the first place: love the neighbor beside you.
So, enjoy your days, but do not take them so lightly.
Again, we see that the posture of Jesus reaches us and reminds us to live grateful lives, giving thanks, appreciating the weight of what we live into. We remember that the Holy Spirit is not tame, and so neither are we. We walk with a passion burning in the pit of our stomachs and we watch the way Jesus walked for guidance along the way.
It is there that we remember the truth of our connection, that the decisions we make are global decisions.
For those of us in the church, this changes everything, and somehow brings us back to the beginning of a benevolent world where everything revolved around truth and life.
When we forgot before, we remember, we gather and hear each other, and honor that each of us engages and gives to the world in different ways, but in loving the neighbor beside us ways.
And, most important of all things, we pray:
In every space that we inhabit,
we ask to know more of what it means
to walk the path that you
gave us to walk in this world.
You’ve got hands that hold everything in place,
and somehow, we still don’t know how
to belong here.
So give us new eyes to see,
new hands to reach,
new hearts to love,
new spirits to grasp
what it means to be human,
to admire what is sacred,
to lean into what is
and was always supposed to be