Campfires! So evocative of life and energy. Embraced by a dark night. Sparks flying. Stars overhead. A tiny bit of life in the midst of the cosmos. Drawn to warmth. Flames dance. A long stick to re-arrange the logs or poke at embers. Yes!
In the last few weeks, I’ve experienced a long stick poking at some embers inside me. I’ve held a dream for many years. Sometimes it would sparkle and send off sparks, other times it would settle to a warm glow or even seem to disappear as the rest of life took fire. As I was poked once or twice, it’s starting to glow again, getting warmer.
Phyllis Tickle wrote about The Giant Rummage Sale that the church goes through every five hundred years or so; a sort through, clean out, clear up and general shake out before beginning again. She was sure we were living through another rummage sale time. That makes sense to me.
The dream I’ve held is that the new shape of the church will be global, universal, cosmic. No more national churches. No more denominational divisions. Oh yes, those can be there on some level, but let there be a bigger faith community. From my vantage point the world needs us faith-filled people to come together, one voice, singing in harmony. I sing the Jesus song, but I sing it with all faithful people of all traditions.
We need to sing in harmony. The world needs the presence of the Spirit to be magnified. As long as we keep ourselves in our nationalist, denominational, creedal and religious boxes we weaken the gift of Spirit that we bring to the world. I want to sing in harmony. I want the strength of the Spirit to shine in the world. Her Light is diluted when we say, ‘only our way’ and strengthened when we say together, ‘we are all spiritual beings, made in the image of LOVE now, with me, follow your path, deeply and intently into the heart of LOVE’.
I know there are people offering perennial philosophy and inter-faith groups at work. Yes, first steps and I want more. I want more. I want a place where we encounter LOVE and are changed. I don’t think that happens in an institution or even a building.
Where does it happen? I don’t know yet. It does happen around campfires, places of human connection within the cosmos. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn back to campfires. I’ve just been poked a few times. I don’t know where this is going. I bet it’s going to appear here again. I’d like to hear from you. Tell me what you dream, how you’re poked, how my embers appear to you. Do my sparks land on you? We’re in this together. I’d like to hear from you.
Love and prayers from around a campfire
Mystic in Motion
Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire
Society Member of Shalem Institute for Contemplative Living
Companion on The Rivendell Way