First of all, seek God’s Realm and Justice, then everything else will follow.Matthew 6:33
How is crisis teaching you about what matters most of all?
In the wake of
a life-altering cyclone
I traveled to the Mississippi coast
with my son and church companions,
to visit a friend.
Images of devastation
in the retina of memory;
decapitated palms leaning like matchsticks,
homes and vehicles bobbing
in oily iridescence,
combing the rubble
of their lives.
The ruinous scene evoked
grainy images of bombed beaches
and the nightmare of nuclear holocaust.
Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.Bhagavad Gita
As bulldozers carved a thoroughfare,
banks of debris,
roiled like angry waves.
Entrenched in the vale of detritus;
walled by sodden mattresses, fragments of furniture,
muddy carpets, smashed plumbing;
awareness swelled with the dank stench of decay:
sooner or later,
every single thing becomes landfill!
All within the arc of your gaze,
that decorates your existence,
clothing, possessions, achievements, investments, your very body …
destined for disintegration and decay.
For all and every manner of thing and life,
in time must pass away.
There are lovely things in the world, lovely, only that do not endure, and the lovelier for that.Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Since all is fleeting and insubstantial
naught but one remains:
in the space between our breaths, beats and pulses.
This punctuation that defines and bonds,
brings meaning and measure to our moments,
and love into being, we call: “relationship.”
And the primacy of relationship
is revealed when
death or destruction lifts the veil.
Things of life we leave behind
all take their place in the past
but first, foremost, finally, only relationships last.
The most important things in life are invisible.Fred Rodgers
Love is at the root of everything; all learning, all relationships –
love or the lack of it.
This pricey pearl—
treasure hidden in the field—
requires the relinquishment of all else.
In the spacious latticework of relationships
with family and friend, neighbor and nature,
love is realized, experienced, expressed, exchanged.
How can we know and share love
except through the resonant filaments of connectivity
that web our world and weave us into being?
And what would life look like
if relationships came first
and really mattered most of all?
Being means: not numbering and counting,Rainer Maria Rilke
but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap,
and stands confidently in the storms of spring,
not afraid that afterward summer may not come…
As distancing days
grow into months
that straddle seasons,
atop mountainous human losses,
and the evaporation of reliable income,
surrounded by the remnants of a former reality,
we are impatient to restore the reassuring
frame of reference that used to shape our days.
Yet, cascading problems seem intractable,
if we presume to resume
pre-plague ways, means, and expectations.
In masked isolation we come to cherish
priceless human touch, aware that
even distant islands are connected by the same ocean.
May you live to restore and show and share
the myriad relationships that bring you life
and love you into being.