Grounded

feet groundIt’s rare that my chiropractor and my spiritual director offer me the same advice, but when they do, I think it’s a sign that I’m supposed to pay particular attention.

Early on, my chiropractor would harp on me about having my head in the clouds and disassociating physically, and she would tell me I needed to connect with the ground.  Literally.  Put my feet on the ground and feel them connect to the earth. Our bodies are built to be sustained that way, with large leg and hip bones and calves and quads and glutei maximi. It was only when she said this that I figured out I have spent so much of my recent years feeling  more like a marionette – being lifted up by the shoulders. Which, of course, doesn’t work at all.

When I begin my spiritual direction sessions, we always pray, and my director makes sure that my feet are on the ground. We’ve not talked about why we do that, but every spiritual director I’ve ever had does this, and they are all smarter than I, and it works. As I settle into prayer, my chiropractor’s voice echoes in  my head. So I’m working on being physically spiritual, or spiritually physical. One of those. I think.

A few years ago during some continuing education, I learned that the word in Genesis 2 for “earth” is best translated as the “topsoil of the fertile ground.” That’s the stuff the writer of Genesis says we’re made of – the topsoil. We come from the ground that is beneath our feet.

To pray with feet firmly planted is to reconnect with our best selves, the selves made at creation in the image of God. Maybe that’s the part of us that does the healing, too, when we are hurt. We are at our best and strongest when we are grounded.

The word “grounded” reminds me of liturgy, too, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday – “remember you are dust/earth/topsoil, and to dust/earth/topsoil you will return.” Most beautiful and true for me, though, is the funeral liturgy: “You are immortal, the Creator and Maker of all. We are mortal, formed of the dust, and to dust we shall return. All of us go down to the dust, yet even at the grave we make our song. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”

I am grounded. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Sunday afternoon: Breathing out stars

stars_1230_600x450This morning in Sunday School, we were talking about In the Beginning.  Mark, who knows the Bible better than any of us, said that he loves that beginning of John; it reminds him of Genesis, and it reminds him of Isaiah 40:25, “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.”  And then Mark said something along the lines of “It’s like God was breathing out stars.”

Breathing out stars, Mark said.

We were all delighted-

imagine

the ominipotent ominscient Creator blowing out stars the way kids blow out bubbles, giggling, trying to pop them, trying to go so slow and steady to make a really, really BIG one

And then it pops.

Breathing out stars and then calling them together to sing; that would be cool.

Or it’s like God took a huge mouthful of Pop Rocks and spit them out and the Ruah turned them into stars.

Or God took a sparkler, swallowed it, and belched out the stars.

Or fireworks coming out instead of words.

The best I can manage is a little steam when I exhale on a cold day.  Nothing much shimmers, but then God is a lot shimmerier than I am.

Last week I said in Sunday School that I think of God as a loving mystery, loosely bound somewhere between the Milky Way and a breath.  And then Mark said that he thinks of God breathing out stars.

I don’t know what this God thing is all about, but I think it’s a mix of light and fire and gas and laughter.  At least I hope it is, the God thing.

 

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