Childhood gave me a gift more valuable than I ever realized. Growing up in my childhood religion, people joined the church, “got saved” and many around saw their outward changes and cheered.
They saw old habits drop and lives healed. We talked about the life-giving flow of the Spirit. It was exciting.
Soon people forgot about the flow of the spirit. Many became fixated on the changes. The bad words not said or the clothing the converts wore.
Sunday morning came, and we preached about the clothing and the drinking, forgetting about the life force that caused the changes.
Lies, Illusion, Truth
I am thankful for the gift, sight. I crave truth. I’m meaning the ability to see past illusions. In a book I read, Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft, Veronica Cummer called it Sooth, after the old Forest tradition. Seeing through illusions in practical life has been important.
When a person says something with their words, but their actions are speaking the opposite, know the truth. It’s easy to change your clothes to impress another.
It’s easy to pretend to be kind and gentle. We’ve all seen people that lie with actions and words, but something leaves you uneasy. Underneath, the lie, the discord, is screaming.
Behind the Picture Screen
A picture formed in my mind as I was reading this book. For me, it clarified what I’ve seen but didn’t always understand. Hopefully, I can describe so others can understand.
I remember the Viewfinders I played with as a child. I’d insert the round plastic disk, pull the handle and a new image was there. I could play for hours.
Take the Viewfinder image and underlay another big whole picture. I call this picture underneath “Truth” and it doesn’t turn. Pretend the picture underneath is a picture of life and love. Maybe even a tree of life. It’s unchanging.
Each pull of the Viewfinder’s handle brings a new picture on top of the tree. A cross appears. A statue of Mary. A man is sitting cross-legged in quietness. The tree remains underneath. It continues the seasons of its life.
Springtime blooming, summer brings full green vitality, autumn colors, and winter with its bare bones. Turn the handle, change the religious face, and you can choose where to look.
What do you see? Do you see the statue of Mary with the colors of Autumn and worry that your religion is dying? Or do you see the tree with its season turning and know true religion with its love and life never ends.
Life expresses itself
When a person came to our church and become saved, they flipped a switch to allow life to flow into them. They felt the vitality flow into them and wanted to adapt to the contemporary expression of religion.
I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and, Nearly Dead. Two men changed their physical lives, and you saw their charisma return, and their will to live restored. These were two sick men.
It was the most inspirational film I’ve seen in a while, and there was no praying involved. No chanting, no symbolism, no bowing. I was in awe because there in front of me was lifeforce in action. Sooth. Truth. The tree of life is under the pictures flashing in front of our societies’ Viewfinder.
The truth is there, and once you see it, you will hardly notice anything else.
It’s almost spring here in Oklahoma. The squirrels are active and the birds are noisy. The Dogwood trees have put out their blossoms. And of course, the people are sneezing. The chatter of spring has arrived. I love this time of the year. Beginnings are fun. The thunderstorms and the smell of Petrichor.