…to remember how much insects have to teach.
During our church retreat this morning we sat together outside on benches on the lakeshore. Our weekend’s focus had been sacred conversations and one piece of that is the spiritual practice of holy listening. It is a healthy and helpful reminder and practice. So this morning during worship we shared 10 minutes or so of “Quaker quiet.” Every now and then someone would speak about what gift they’d been given during the weekend. But most of our time this morning was spent in shared quiet.
I found myself looking at my sneakers. And soon I was watching all the insects. There were a lot of them. They seemed to all have a purpose and a pattern. And one of the “ah ha’s” of the weekend was that they seemed oblivious to borders.
And that got me thinking: What would change for all of us if we took on that practice? (and then soon after) Is that even possible?
It was fun to play with the image for a little bit. It was fun to think about ways we are all so captured by our borders and boundaries (physical, emotional). They are sometimes purposefully, sometimes randomly established and are (too often) made to stand the test of time.
As I watched the granddaddy longlegs, beetles and ants move around and over sticks and stones, I kept thinking about the differences of our worlds. It’s an interesting encounter and I highly recommend it next time you’re outside and can allow your mind to wander and your eyes to watch.
And because the Holy Spirit just seems to move in and through, we shared a prayer from the Iona Community with these words:
As a stream flows steadily on,
Defying all the odds of stone and water
Flow over every boundary and border
That separates us from each other.
One of the gifts of the weekend for me was nature's reminder to pay attention to borders and boundaries. Some I have built and some I am in the process of building. Some of them are helpful and some just aren’t anymore. As I watched these insects I was reminded to pay attention to what is separating me from the others around me. This morning by the lake I was given a gift from some very tiny creatures that see the world totally differently. I hope I remember their lesson for a while.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.