My daughter and I are just home from an exhilarating stroll through the woods, visiting faerie dwellings, hidden toads, rushing winds, sun glinting off cool waters, fields of goldenrod and queen Anne’s lace. This is my church. Where all that is Holy speaks to my soul through the elements and gushing up from within. I have found the truth of this more and more deeply since the birth of this girl, my angelic guide today and all days. She knows things, always has. And since even before she could make eye contact, the wisdom residing within her, reminded me that I know things too. I know them deeply and I can trust my inner voice. The voice is my spirit, and because I listen in so regularly – one could call me spiritual.
A woman I know recently shared her certainty that to speak to the essence of a spirit is to assume dumbness in others. Further, that belief in science alone, confers a superior intellect. I don’t know why these remarks surprised me. Maybe because I thought this person knew me well enough to understand my lifelong search for and happy resonance with being-ness. It’s a centuries-old argument, that of God vs. science; why am I surprised it still exists? From what I understand, many scientists today have made leaps and bounds in their work by finally understanding what Shakespeare wrote, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
I’m left wondering why this conflict exists within people? Is it because so many hawkers of religion have poisoned the waters for the would-be faithful? Is it the threat of sin passed from generation to generation? Is it that hippies and the New Age movement have been so watered down it feels insipid to bright thinkers? Maybe it’s because fervent believers engaging in my-God-vs-your-God finger-pointing, make all of us want to put up our intellectual defenses. I want no part of that. I came of age in an intellectual culture, where argument over religion and politics was considered a good evening’s entertainment. Today, I find it exhausting.
I admit, I felt bated by my brief conversation with this friend – I wanted to rise and defend, then I quickly realized that I cannot explain in any satisfactory way, the brilliance that shines within on moments like today’s walk through my outdoor church. I’m a little tired by the misunderstanding, and saddened by what appears to be an insurmountable obstacle in my ability to grow close to this person. But then again, isn’t this what faith asks of me? Isn’t this what the trees whisper and the sun confirms? To love, only. Not to judge. To know that whatever is true rings differently within the souls of each of us, speaking a language only we can understand, in the moment we alone wish to understand it.