Encouragement for a lifelong journey of faith

September 27, 2018 — The Peace of Wild Things

Today’s Bible reading

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. — Genesis 2:19-20

More thoughts for meditation

“The Peace of Wild Things”

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry’s poem, The Peace of Wild Things, captures something of the harmony that we were created for. The “peace of wild things” stands as a testimony beside our own life of anxiety and noise. The drake and the heron are not complicated by out of season thoughts. They still have the internal harmony between what they are and how they live. Yesterday I mentioned that when God made us He uttered the subjunctive “Let us make,” which suggests possibility and imagination. We are subjunctive beings. We can imagine possible futures, not all of them good. We can create alternative selves and live by them instead of honoring our true self. It is indeed exhausting. Yet, we can let ourselves come into the presence of stillness wherever we can find it. Trees, rivers, mountains – even cats 🙂 – hold the blessing for us when we can not find it ourselves.

When we were created, God tasked us with tending the living things of the world. We have not done such a great job at this, and in fact have done quite a decent work at destroying them. Ironically, they are the things which now, in their harmony of their being, show us a path back to God.

Suggestion for action

Nature writer David James Duncan wondered whether mountains and rivers are really the soul turned inside out, or possibly the other way around. This is a marvelously intuitive insight. It expresses something that ancient philosophers and theologians have considered – that there is a fundamental link between our minds and the world. It seems we were made to see and understand things, and also give thanks for them. Can you recall a time in your life when you felt the peace of the world? Connecting to the feelings that that experience brought to you can help you to see where that same peace is possible today.

1 Comment

  1. anita brown

    Once we discover the inner peace
    and get out of our own way, (kenosis)
    it is reflected in the outer world
    so much so
    that all of nature resonates a consciousness
    back to us
    like a mirror

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