This illumination stretches my imagination. It is lush with metaphor and God’s divine plan that leads me quickly to the spiritual senses. Our mission as Christian disciples and one we share with Jews, Muslims and Buddhist is to care for God’s stead. Since we are made in the image and likeness of God who is love, I feel the weight of this responsibility as I meditate on the illumination.
To be drawn into this illumination, requires an awareness of “the other”. We are intimately connected. We see the dream of God and we notice the places in the world that need healing at the same time. God spent “five days” creating a space in which humankind could become fully” actualized.” And on that sixth day we see the snake/serpent in the bottom of the panel reminding us of other voices that lead us away from resting in God. All of the human figures are facing away from the seventh panel, perhaps indicative of our tendency to busy and distracted. (Rodney Bluml).
Prior to coming to St. John’s University, I lived and worked in West Virginia for a few years. Traveling throughout the state was an important part of my work. I remember my trip to Southern West Virginia…it was to be a 5 hour drive. So I brought an audiobook to listen to. Within a half hour I was so distracted from the book by the beautiful mountains and streams that I turned the book off. The beautiful environment drew me in and I developed a very special relationship with them. They actually ministered to me in the busyness of my work. I would fix my gaze on those early spring buds, which were always fuzzy at first, and then notice full blossoms, and inebriating aromas. Then there were the bees and the honey. Beekeepers were abundant.
Mountains, hills and trees pointed to heaven. And then I fell in love with the people and their mountain ruggedness, which was wild and wonderful! The people were warm, genuine, honest and strong. They are committed to their families and made stronger by their extended families, who cross county and state borders and bloodlines to help each other. Families run as deep as the roots of the forests that cover hills. It humbles me to reflect upon the forces that shaped them over time. They so greatly exceed our own power. It humbles me also to reflect on our impact on them—and our careless extraction of natural resources.
Like our families, the roots of the trees of our forests also depend on extended support. Healthy trees send their roots sideways. In the face of wind, rain and ice, a forest prevails because of its interwoven system. The roots live together so intimately that the forest functions as one organism. I imagine there is a thread of gold that weaves together the root system. Those roots systems of the trees reflect my own need for interconnectedness and a broad network that weaves us together. It is what the world needs for health and well-being of us all. I am challenged to create an environment that reflects the habits of Christ and that wellness and health might be possible for all!
I will be back tomorrow with more visio divina….my mind is racing and my thoughts plentiful! I have class in 30 minutes!!!