I put one hand on my heart, the other, on top of the mesa. Lying on Mother Earth, I wondered if I could sync my heartbeat with hers. Ultimately, I wanted to sense a drumming beat of the collective whole.
I had set aside Sabbath time. My mind wandered to the variety of ways people feed their souls. I thought of loved ones in churches and relished my memories in some of the healthier ones. Through the years, religious organizations had grounded me, imparted knowledge, taught helpful rituals, created community and offered tipping points and momentum that provided opportunities for me to make catalytic changes.
The healthier communities inspired priesthood of the believer, furthering a personal relationship with Infinite Love and generously giving to others, from True Self. But any group, especially religious ones, can hurt people to a point of no return.
They can fail to consider the individual’s needs, force agendas or possessively encourage dependence on the smaller organization, losing sight of the whole. On one side, vicious factions, within a community, wound leaders. On the other, those governing exploit their constituents by asking them to ignore dysfunctions, or even abuse. Regardless of the circumstances, it is unfair to label all, because of a destructive few.
At times, my directees and I consider how to live into the hope that follows suffering, perseverance and the building of character. We explore how to be a part of this world, while giving our hearts safe refuge from other people’s unhealthy behavior.
Depending on their journeys and without agenda, we may look at Jesus’ life, consider a storyline pertinent to their circumstances or simply marvel at creatures, like Armadillo, that offer pictures of both tenderness and protection.
In those periodic times of necessary armored protection, we step away from damaging relationships, or groups, to strengthen our own rhythms. We begin giving from an overflow, telling our stories and opening to unlikely others.
As we wait for our pounding hearts to sync with the drumming beat of a larger whole, we often hear a deeper call to transform the unconverted places within. This is how we participate in the risen Christ, offering hope to the world.