Palestine

An Old City Meditation

There is a spider web trailing along the fencing of the patio. I can see it swaying in the gentle, afternoon breeze; its arcs and dips glinting in the sunlight. The illusion is that it’s fragile, easily torn away by careless hands. Yet, when considered from the spider’s perspective it is steel, supporting its entire body weight – which seems negligible to us, but to the spider it is all things; transportation, home, food. All coming from itself because God loves it. Yet, what works for the spider isn’t feasible for the crow – we are each provided for, given talents, according to our nature.

Humans, I think, are given the greatest number of talents – but perhaps the best way is the simplest. Perhaps we should endeavor to not simply be the spider, but also its web – flowing in the breath and spirit of God without restraint. Simply being what we are intended to be; perfect and iridescent in spirit. That would require such presence, such calmness and quiet of spirit.

What can we learn from the tiny spider? Gentleness, as it weaves between the soft, green tendrils of creation – not harming, not choking life but enhancing its beauty with our own creation. Can we say, in truth, that we have done this?

I am overwhelmed by Creation; radiating, pulsing, screaming at me with its unquenchable vivacity! It breaths, beats, shines like the sun. People! Plants! Animals, even the billion year old stones beneath my feet. It is unrestrained, wild, passionate – explosive! Bursting forth from God to God in an unimaginable, impossible array of unspeakable beauty. Despite all that we have done to subdue and eradicate life – war, famine, poverty, pollution, hate, fear – life carries on. We can’t kill it – it thrives in spite of us. What magic! What unmitigated Grace we are shown and given. How foolish we are to think that we can rob Creation of Life. How blind we are to think that life is only the material. Such force, grace, beauty – such a supernova like this couldn’t simply be material.

What of us? How did we become so cynical? How did we get this far? How have we forgotten the love of God, and how did we stop trusting God and each other? Have we forgotten how to see God? Are we too busy? Too Afraid? If only we could see, for a moment, the miracle of life… it could change everything. Light, color, substance – we ignore it all because of our fear. Fear of life, death, the loss of power. Could we ever, even for a moment, relinquish control so that we could see, thus live in the palm of God. Do we trust ourselves enough to love like a child in total trust and love?

We should endeavor to be flowers – turning not only our faces, but our entire being toward the Sun that is God. Maybe we, too, can be as perfect as each petal. The neighbor’s doves soar through the sky, their hearts free from care because they are and do exactly as God intended – and so they don’t have to worry, they are provided for. Cupped in the hands of God. We should hope to gain their wisdom, too.

And what of me? How can I hope to discern God’s will? Perhaps that’s not the point – perhaps I am only to trust. To be the flower, the dove, the spider web. To turn towards God, trust and allow myself to be carried upon the breath of God.

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