Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Isaiah 6:1-3

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’ 

Highway 61

It was Friday when the earth spoke. I was traveling along Minnesota 61, a stretch of asphalt along the west side of the Mississippi River as it lumbers southward.

The water is wide as you make your way north toward Lake Pepin, a length of river where the waters stretch a couple of miles across and more than 150 feet deep. The hills form a deep gorge, framing the river valley, steep and covered with trees, forest green, alight in the fullness of spring on this May day.

The cliffs bend and fold themselves along the valley, falling and rising, sunlight casting deep shadows in the folds and glistening green on the heights.

Everything you see is alive and speaks, each tree, each leaf, the contour of the hills, the glint of sun on blue waters, birds circling above an unhurried current while others rest in its face silently communing with fisherman alone in their boats.

There are no individual voices out here, no solos. All I see speaks as a whole, with one voice, and I hear it.

“I am. I am life. I am the life-force in all you see. I am the life you feel within. All you see is in me, and I am in it as I am in you.”

And I know: I am surrounded by God, inside the Loving Mystery, knowing, too, all that is exists in God who encompasses all that is. I am inside of God, given and sharing the life God is, as is all I see and feel along the highway.

You, O Mystery, are so near and yet so far beyond my understanding. For you are great, holding all that is, and yet so small that all that is holds you. Your transcendence is your immanence, and your immanence your transcendence. My mind does not have words for what my heart knows, and I know I never will.

I love you with a love beyond any words I shall ever have, a love I know is not my own but the Love you are and that you have for me and all I see.

I have no words of my own, so I speak these ancient words from Isaiah. The 2600 years between us evaporate like mist on the river in the morning sun. We are brothers. His experience and mine are one and the same, and his words become mine, “Holy, holy, holy Lord. The whole earth is full of your glory.”

You are the power of life that gives being to all life. The life you are sings and shouts and whispers, echoing through this ancient valley, over the waters and among the extravagant green of forests where sun and shadow play to delight my eyes.

“Holy, holy, holy Lord, Heaven and earth are full of your glory.” You echo my chant speaking through all that surrounds me, “I am. I am. I am. I am the Power of Being in you and in all.

“I am the Love who speaks in earth and sea, the Love who speaks in your brother Jesus, who breathes in in the Spirit of Love wherever and how ever love is known.”

Driving along, road signs direct one toward country churches, tucked among the folds of the hills. Each sign awakens thanks for souls who know it is only right to build places of prayer in this valley, sanctuaries where joy and love unite to praise you for May mornings that speak your name.

But then no sanctuaries are needed, for the earth and all creation are your sanctuary, and not just on Fridays.

Pr. David L. Miller