[This post is dedicated to the West Coast Climate Riders, 2013, who will pedal their bikes 320 miles from Fortuna, CA to San Francisco’s City Hall between May 19-24th. Thank you, Climate Riders — Have a GREAT Ride!!!]
Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb.
– Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B
God made so many different kinds of people; why would God allow only one way to worship?
– Martin Buber
I had assumed that the Earth, the spirit of the Earth, noticed exceptions — those who wantonly damage it and those who do not. But the Earth is wise. It has given itself into the keeping of all, and all are therefore accountable.
– Alice Walker
There is phrase used in Buddhist circles, “radical acceptance,” it refers to the uninvited, unwanted circumstances or conditions in our lives and the often challenging – though ultimately liberating – practice of making peace with them.
Radical acceptance is bravery in action. And for me, the precursor is feeling fiercely that which I radically, or otherwise, can NOT accept. (Do you know the ones?) I’ll share the one plaguing me right now:
“On May 9th, for the first time ever, the carbon dioxide counter on the side of Mauna Loa, the most important scientific instrument on earth, recorded a daily average of above 400 parts per million. It’s a grim landmark — it’s been several million years since CO2 reached these levels in the atmosphere.” – BillMcKibben, www.350.org
I can’t argue with a number. There’s nothing to finesse or negotiate. I will accept the number….but the human behavior in response to that number and what it means? UN-acceptable.
Or is it? And who am I to say? I am seeking the right response and I’m asking each of you, what is it?
What is the right response to a mess we have created, a mess that is accelerating, a mess that forecasts massive loss, systems breakdown, and suffering for so many?
I welcome your ideas and I love to hear from you. In the meantime, my thinking is this…
Respond!! Do something and ordain it. It can be big and dramatic. It can be daily and ordinary. Experiment. Try both!!! Listen to someone under the age of 13. Whatever you choose to do, honor it for the Holy act that it is – know that it is prayer, empowerment, connection. In this church, called Earth, we are ALL men and women of the cloth and every action is sacred. Can I have a witness??
We have to first accept, IMO, that our individual action and response by itself is not going to be enough to move the needle. And, then, move forward to do what’s right, because our integrity demands no less.