Statistics will tell you the world is no more dangerous today than it was in my childhood. But if certainly feels that way. Bombarded by stories and images of horrific violence, cruelty and hatred almost hourly, the whole of reality filtered down to us through a lens not of what we need to know, or should know, or can do anything about; but through algorithms that will generate the most income for those who provide us information in the first place. It’s a recipe for ugliness, because we seem fascinated by ugliness.
We can’t turn away, we stare at the twisted remains of the car on the side of the road.
In our macabre obsession with the dark and the horrible we miss what is and always has been all around us. We miss resurrection, we miss creation going on under our feet, the birthing of a new world. Save the world, be a midwife to beauty.
See the new green leaves, soft and bright peeking out of swelling buds against the grew spring sky, cheer the bulbs thrusting brave green leaves up through snow and cold ground into the uncertainty of tomorrow. Notice the sable velvet of a cat’s ear, the hair soft as rabbit on a creature so brightly armed. Watch a toddler melt down in a cacophony of growing brain and remember we as a species are little older than she, and grow tender for our whole overwhelmed race still trying to control tantrums of over-stimulation. Dry her tears and imagine the future this one will have when she/we has finally grown.
Find a new name for Holiness, Root, Goddess, Holy One, Jesus – find a name that prickles your skin, raises your hackles, distrubs the dust in your inner sanctum. Chose a name that stretches your ideas and sit with it, carry it like a gem throughout your days. Let it sweep out the place in your heart where your tiny, tiny sliver of Godness lives. Your heart is too small, but it can grow bigger (never though enough to encompass the whole, so stretch away, feel the room get bigger, spread you arms wide). Spin in wild circles in your new found space while God laughs her great wild laugh and tickles your expectations.
Read something beautiful. Step into another world and revel in the glory that is the human ability to create something from nothing, our little piece of the Creator’s power and how often we use it for good, for beauty, and how often we forget the garden of delights we have created for one another because in its midst we have stumbled over a little dirty rag crawling with maggots. Melt into art and become less than yourself for even a moment as you become so much more.
There is evil in this great wide world, but it will not be defeated with more evil. My people’s greatest story of a stone rolled back, and an empty tomb stands in stark answer to the ugly evil of the bloody violence that came before, of the evil that seemed to roll up and over and consume all the hope in our hearts. Instead the Human of Humans danced out of the tomb, danced into light and life laughing; swept up death with his great black sword into the wild salsa dance of life and made even that old curmudgeon smile and there in that smile she/he was reborn Life/Death reunited and made one again bright and dark and mystery deep as the ocean and beautiful and terrible as the full moon.
Evil shall not save us from evil, nor violence ever sheath it’s own bleeding sword. But we have been given the key to saving us all: beautify the world. Be the midwife of love.