Saturday, October 1, 2011

Divine Spit, Human Saliva

Over at my creativity blog, I wrote this piece about how spending time with my 5 year old nephew reminds me that we live in an abundant world.  I wrote:

"I wish you could have seen my nephew's joy when a huge leaf washed up beside him as a wave swept in. He pounded on it, and said "A leaf!" as if he'd found true treasure.

But, of course, he had found true treasure. I know that I've spent the first part of this week at Lutheridge, studying the miracles of Jesus as art form so my perspective is different right now. The life of Jesus and many other spiritual leaders teaches us that we have everything we need, if we had eyes to see it. There are too many times in my life I forget this basic principle."

I will write a longer post about the miracles of Jesus within the next few days.  But one thing that leapt out at me during our study was that Jesus used the materials at hand.  Jesus didn't say, "Drat.  We've only got bread and fish.  I was hoping for some olives and a lamb."  Jesus took what he had and what the crowds had and transformed them.

I'm also intrigued by the earthiness of the miracles.  So much can be done with spit!  Several thousand years later, we might protest, "But Jesus had divine spit." 

I would counter that Jesus came to show us how to live our human lives as fully as possible.  He came to show us what a human life could really be, if only we would live expansively.

Madeleine L'Engle addresses this point more eloquently, in her book,  Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art: “God is always calling on us to do the impossible. It helps me to remember that anything Jesus did during his life here on earth is something we should be able to do, too” (page 19).

Let those words sink into your Saturday consciousness and think about how we'd live life if we had no excuses.  Anything Jesus did, you can do.  Yes, that would include raising the dead--and raising ourselves from death.

Most of us have trouble with the literal version of this idea.  So, think metaphorically.  What death do you need to release you?  What grave cloths are holding you back and making you stink?  How can you reject this death and embrace resurrection?

No comments: