Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Holy and Profane

...to live is Christ...
Philippians 1:21

This is all so much bigger than I have been lead to believe. 

It's ok to not have answers--and sometimes it's better not to. 
It's ok to not have all the boxes checked. 
It's ok to be bewildered by the Spirit of God and the unconventional, strange ways He works. 
It's ok. 

I want yes or no, right or wrong, up or down, this or that. 
Most Americans do. 

But I'm learning to live in the tensions between holy and profane, clean and unclean, what I know and what I don't (and perhaps never will). 

I'm learning to breathe before I give my "correct" answer, deciding instead that maybe asking more questions and discovering answers together may be more beneficial. 

I'm learning to savor seconds, mindful moments meditating before starting the day, taking a bite of my provided daily bread, leaning back in my chair watching grey clouds cover the sky, knowing this moment, and every moment, could be my last moment. 

I'm learning God is bigger than my preconceived notions, 
bigger than the limits I put on His Spirit, 
bigger than who the Western Church has portrayed Him to be, 
bigger than the terrible evils committed in His name,
bigger than my every day worries.

He is bigger, more comprehensive, more radical, and more mind blowing than I will ever understand. 
And I am ok with not understanding Him,
but I see His beauty,
and I do want to follow Him. 

I used to pray, "Lord, lead me to Your truth. Help me understand You."

Now I pray, "Lord, I will never fully understand You and Your greatness. And truth is not a destination. So, fill me with Your fullness and let me walk in love, compassion, understanding, and truth."

God and truth are not a destination, but a journey. 
We do not arrive; we are. 

"The Kingdom of God is in the present moment...When I walk I don't hurry to arrive. Why? Because I arrive every moment. I have already arrived." 

I have arrived, I am home
In the here and in the now.
I am solid, I am free,
In the ultimate I dwell.

-Thich Nhat Hanh You Are Here

During my half year stay in Kolkata, India, I saw the sacred and the profane collide. Trash littered temple steps, walls used as public bathrooms next to sacred shrines,  dirty families sleeping outside cathedrals. 

Yet, I watched men brush away the trash and lay down their mats to pray. 
I watched women ignore the stench to touch the sacred statues then bring their hands to their own faces, covering themselves in spirit. 
I watched families take off their shoes before entering cathedrals, knowing the ground on which they walk is holy. 

They lived in the tension between humanity and Spirit, between profane and holy, because to many of them, they are one and the same. 

Our human bodies are holy: are we not the temple of the very Spirit of God? 
The ground we walk on is holy: has it not also been groaning for redemption?

The lives we live are holy--

the choice then becomes: 
Do you live in that reality, regarding all life as holy and sacred, treating each moment, each breath, each person, as holy and filled with sparks of the Divine? 
Or, do you ignore our sacredness and holiness to live solely in the profane, treating nature, people, all life as devoid of Spirit, empty of Divinity? 

Because the way you choose to believe determines the way you will live. 


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