“Was I seeing insanity or sanctity?” The bitumen flows under our long forgotten treaty feet. Spills of dishonesty in our blood line 9-1-1… The policeman, responding to the call, intimidates, and finally, leaves us to our dumpster diving saying, “Good hunting.” Pressurized oil feeds thousands, connecting us in our cities with energy surplus that is soon to be a thing of the past. I dig through the veins of backwards white male wealth each week on Sundays. Some days, I find Holy smiles in the disposable ash-less waste.
Is God really this close to us? Is our society’s wealth and waste ash-less? Unlike the fertile fire purified palm ash that still marks my forehead from just over a week ago.
“To this day we go on reading desert spirituality for its sense of Godness, however bizarre some of its demonstrations …We study Celtic spirituality for its links to nature and struggle between pantheism and panentheism…We follow Orthodox spirituality for its use of image and its emphasis on the transcendence of the spiritual life and wonder at the distinction between images and idols…We look to Western spirituality for its awareness of the incarnational and worry about the loss of a sense of mystery there. In every realm of every spiritual tradition, we search for the secret to the Way.” (“Called to Question: a Spiritual Memoir”, Joan Chittister)
Again, this Lent I have given up electric light in my search for the Way. Why? To remind myself of how much I have that I don’t need and that many others don’t have. To remind my body of the natural rhythms of daylight.To quiet my mind by candlelight. To help me create time in space to hear God in the dark places. To encounter God in the flickering shadows. It is in the margins, the dark places, the shadows, that Jesus spent his ministry. It is in darkness that Jesus died.
I am looking to cultivate awareness of God in every moment. To be given to growing in God. To grow in the “I am”- the “I am everything that is and more”.
In the midst of planning a lament prayer walk on the recent approval of the line 9 pipeline expansion and reversal, which will be and is transporting diluted bitumen across our grand river watershed, I slowly awaken to a sense of God. Like a fumbling candle flicker. In God, flickers of light take time, build slowly, and blossom towards resurrection.