Tag Archives: nature

The wholeness hidden in all things

24 Jul

Moving has had its challenges. Physically it has been demanding, especially in the heat of the summer. It also has demanded things emotionally and spiritually.

Amidst my muddling through, I read Gayle Boss’ “Natural Medicine,” Weavings 27:4. The burden of her article is to remind us (me) that nature (the created order, if you will) can be a means of solace and renewal. She interacts with several authors, including Parker Palmer. Palmer, himself reflecting on Thomas Merton, uses the phrase “the wholeness hidden in all things.”

Boss goes on to comment, “Nothing repairs the deep fissures in our psyches and our souls like touching the Wholeness that gave birth to us. While we are accustomed to reaching out to that Wholeness through words–prayer, scripture, devotional reading–we neglect the more primal reach-and-touch of our senses in the natural world. Most of us have been taught to be highly wary of our senses; fling wide those windows and temptation rushes in to enslave us to ‘the life of the flesh.’ Or, even if we have learned temperance and can let our senses play over the natural world, we don’t expect to get through them answers to the knot of sorrow lodged in and around our hearts. And, in fact, we don’t get answers, not of the direct sort, anyway. The natural world delivers a comfort pure and simple and somehow enough, a medicine absorbed by the senses that bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the wound in heart and soul” (p. 9). As Boss notes, God told Job, in effect, “Come outside and pay attention” (p. 7). And, Jesus at the beginning of his ministry went into the wilderness, and at the end of his ministry, into the garden of Gethsemane.

Amen. I’m convinced Joan and I need a vacation. Keweenaw Peninsula, here we come!

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