The Light shines within each of us for we are the dwelling places of the Holy Spirit….it is not enough to know the Light is within. We have come to earth as servers. Our calling is to stand aside, let Spirit shine through our lives, and thereby to reach out and trigger the illuminating of the light in the lives of others. And so we join together with kindred souls to let the light of peace, joy, love and truth flood over and transform the quality of life that is manifest on Planet Earth.
Paul Brecht Fenske from Spiritual Insights for Daily Living
The retreat day topic presented by Sisters Mary Margaret and Judy from A Place for Women to Gather was “Oh Earth I Cannot Hold You Close Enough.” It revolved around a lovely painted image taken from The Cosmic Dance by Joyce Rupp. The morning was devoted to quiet time and reflection time for us to attune to the beauty and bounty that the earth offers us with the final intention of finding ways we as individuals will support and care for our planet.
The Sixty Minute segment presented on Sunday November, 16th of this year, 2014 was about our water consumption throughout the world. I live in Cary, North Carolina and we have had water restrictions for years, way before there was much of a visible issue and way before we even had any major problems with our water supply. Right now I believe we are at a healthy water level for our area but we haven’t always been “safe” and our community does an excellent job of encouraging people to be conservative with their water usage. They offer rebates for low flow toilettes, inexpensive rain barrels are for sale and watering for lawns and shrubs are on restricted days. The Sixty Minute segment showed that small steps like ours are more important than I ever imagined but they are not enough to keep our planet green and healthy. We are drilling for water like we do for oil and we are sucking the earth dry.
My church, St. Michael the Archangel is in the throws of putting together boxes and boxes of food to give away this week, thousands of them. We are but one of thousands of organizations who are doing the same thing. We have a “Jesse Tree” in the foyer with paper ornaments with children’s names who need a present, usually clothing. There are adopt-a-family notices in our bulletin. We are a country with an abundance of resources and from what I can see here in my community, we want to share those with whomever needs help. As a family, we aren’t ever generous enough. It seems no matter how much we donate, or step up to assist others, we could always do more, more and more. We aren’t called to be missionaries working in the really needy part of the world. We are called, however, to be compassionate and that means not just thinking sad thoughts but actually stepping up and making a difference. It means donating to the Thanksgiving Basket drive, taking at least one ornament off the Jesse tree, spending time in service. It means recognizing our bounty and our blessings and making a difference. We want to donate our time, treasure and talent to improve the condition of our world, even if it’s just our small part of the world.
I am always looking for ways to be of more service to the world. In this case, our day retreat has given me a greater awareness of the responsibility to literally give back to Mother Earth, that planet which so tenderly holds us here. I use to have the affirmation, “I treat Mother Earth gently” but now, with awareness I claim with more fervor, “I treasure Mother Earth.” Therefore, on this Thanksgiving, 2014, I give thanks for ALL things but especially for the treasures of our miraculous world.