Franciscan Spirit Blog

Earth and Spirit

To reconnect with blessedness at its most essential, we need only contemplate the very first, most enduring revelation: the mirror of our Maker that is so very good; and holy too in the redemptive act of resting to celebrate and savor it. An ancient Bible tale tells of a human family commanded to build a bark big enough to safeguard every sacred being from the diluvium caused by human desecration.

Every creature belongs, each one is beloved, and none of us are dispensable. Should we fail to appreciate and protect the likes of gnats, lilies, and sparrows, how on earth could we even hope to taste and see the goodness of their Maker?

Nature is also our first, best teacher who daily dramatizes, with gentle meekness, the marvelous miracle of being. Witness how the great mammals such as elephants, rhinos, gorillas, whales, despite their bulk and strength, demonstrate delicate care as they tend to their young.

As we make our annual pilgrimage around the sun, who could know the uncountable stories of loves, losses, and longings—of tears, terror, and tragedy—touched briefly each day in the passing shimmer of sunlight. Deeper appreciations of the mysterious complexity of reality—at its most minute (in molecular and quantum dynamics) and universal (in the cosmic interplay of the galaxies)—continue to reveal an infinitely more intricate tapestry of mutuality and interdependence.

Spirit breathes us into being and thrives on forever bringing us all back around to oneness and holding us all together, so we too can give ourselves to each other and know the real bonding of love, the infinite closeness of everything. In the end, awe remains the most honest response to new, surprising perspectives on the immeasurable breadth, unfathomable depth, and incomprehensible degree of our own unknowing.

When was the last time your soles graced the ground beneath your feet?

Daily, we tread
or trample
a lush living carpet.
Upon this thin floor
of muddy vitality
all the elements of our existence depend.
What disdainfully we call dirt
(as in dirty) or soil (as in soiled)
is actually the miracle beneath!
Our given scriptural name
ADAMAH or “grounded one,”
describes our earthy roots and muddy origins.
Human reflects humble genesis,
for we are “humus-beings,”
earthlings realized from sacred soil.
In our fleeting lifespan we are gifted
with a multitude of graces
in three dimensions:
Illumined Grace that gasps in wonder
at sunsets, ocean vistas,
and misty mountain peaks.
Darker Graces that visit us unbidden,
with the embrace of suffering:
the letting go and losing of all we hold dear.
Then there is Earthed Grace—
well-mixed into the messy mulch of living—
bounty revealed to the lowly, who live close to the ground.

Wandering and Welcome by Joseph Grant

3 thoughts on “Earth and Spirit”

  1. Kathryn Elsayed

    I loved reading this beautiful and deeply spiritual article. Your descriptions are so accurate that I could feel what you are saying. Truly this was Spirit inspired. Thank you for writing this.

    1. Wonderful, thank you so very much for all that you teach – as we sojourn in sorrow or joy towards the depths of Love.

    2. I loved the lyric descriptions of nature. I could do without gnats, mosquitoes and lice.

      Connecting to our earthiness gives me a sense of a solid foundation – founded upon the rock.

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