Meditation Monday – Foolish Things For God

by Christine Sine
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by Christine Sine

Over the last few days spring has burst forth in Seattle. The daffodils are smiling. Crocuses fill the lawn and flowering trees are bursting into bloom all around the neighbourhood. There is tension within me during this season of Lent. On one side I feel the somberness of the season and call to repentance and sober reflection. On the other side I want to dance and sing because everything is bursting into life. Surely this is part of the foolishness of Lent and of the God who is revealed during this season.

I must confess I have found it very hard to settle into my Lenten practices this year, partly because of this bursting forth of spring which I so long for as the days start to lengthen, and partly because of the launch of my new podcast, The Liturgical Rebels. I am delighted at the response to the first episode and really appreciate your comments and affirmation. The second episode, an interview with black poet Drew Jackson will be launched on Wednesday. Drew and I talk about poetry as spiritual practice and how it can help us express the laments and joys of life while enabling us to sit longer in the questions life raises not looking for answers but sitting in the mystery of all things. We also discuss his amazing sensitivity to to women in the gospels and how poetry enables us to access our anger and see it as an invitation to uncover the mystery of life and let go of a need for answers and control. He is a wonderful person to interview.

In some ways it seems foolish to launch a podcast like this at the beginning of Lent, but in other ways it seems very appropriate as part of what I encourage us to do is to break outside the realms of convention and do foolish things like experimenting with new approaches to spiritual practices.

One consistent practices I am engaged in for Lent is reading Cole Arthur Riley’s Black Liturgies. It is every bit as impacting as her first book This Here Flesh  which makes it a slow read as I fond myself stopping, savouring the words, reflecting and writing poetry in response. Yesterday it was this prayer that held my attention, a prayer that speaks of the tensions I too feel in this season of Lent.

God of every beautiful thing. Make us people of wonder. Show us how to hold on to nuance and vision when our souls become addicted to pain, to the unlovely. It is far easier to see the gloom and decay; so often it sings a louder song. Attune our hearts to the good still stirring in our midst, not that we would give ourselves to toxic positivity or neglect the pain of the world, but that we would be people capable of existing in the tension. Grant us habits of sacred pause. Let us marvel not just at the grand or majestic, but beauty’s name etched into every ordinary moment. Let the mundane swell with a mystery that makes us breathe deeper still. And by this, may we be sustained and kept from despair. Amen. (Black Liturgies 35)

Because of the tension I feel in Lent this year I am including two of the contrasting outputs of the last week for me. The first is a Lenten reflection on the Foolishness of God. The second is some poetry I wrote over the last few weeks as I immersed myself in the wonder of spring and of God’s bursting forth into our world in new ways. Both, I feel, speak of the wonder and the foolishness of God and the way God’s holy presence is manifested in our world. enjoy

There is Wonder in the World

There is wonder in the world,
We cannot comprehend,
Miracles of light and beauty,
Mystery of things that grow
In the depths of night.
No science can explain the splendor,
Or help us understand 
When sunset colours
Take our breath away,
And bring us to tears. 
Why do strangers show compassion,
For people half a world away,
And care when violence 
Rips society apart?
Why do we ache  
When forests are destroyed 
And species made extinct,
As though the spark of God 
Is snuffed out? 
This world is alive with God.
Divine love shimmers through creation.
All is infused with holy presence
Filled with love and life and beauty.

God of Every Beautiful Thing

God of every beautiful thing,

Give us eyes to see the wonder,
Of your world,
Let it disrupt our days with sacred pauses,
So that we marvel,
Not just at majestic mountains 
And sweeping vistas,
But at the sparks of mystery 
Carved in every ordinary thing
That fills this earth.
Let our hearts swell with delight,
At every wrinkled face
That graces our days
With the image of God,
And glory in the divine light
Enlivening every humdrum moment,
With the joy
Of holy presence.



The Liturgical rebels is now Live. Don’t forget to view the first episode before the second is released on Wednesday.

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