We are in the Dirty Season now, when the snows starts to melt and the lost is finally found. Lost socks, toys, that boot the dog dragged out from the porch during the winter----
----all is slowly revealed. We point our faces to heaven looking for spring and sun, for re-birth----while our feet sink in mud and trash. Our longing divides us.
Feet in the mud,
faces aching for sun. We're divided beings.
We dont want what we have--we have what we don't want.
We know we're young, fresh-faced, expectant---then we look in the mirror.
We host a red-suited malcontent on one shoulder----and a love-everyone angel on the other
We do the things we shouldn't-----and we don't do the things we should.
Who will deliver us from the body of this divided self?
Last night I (finally!) saw the movie "Of Gods and Men." based on a true story. Seven French Cistercian monks in the Atlas mountain of Algeria are divided as well (spoiler alert). Islamic terrorists are rampaging and murdering foreigners. Should they leave the villagers they have loved and served for decades, or should they commit themselves to God and take their chances? They are riven. From one another. From themselves. The spirit is steadfast, but the body fears death. In the end, after much wrestling, they stay. Together. In the final scene, as they stumble, single file, up the mountain in the snowstorm with their captors, to certain death, we sense they chose aright. Because of how they lived in those last days. As one body.
Teilhard de Chardin has written, now too famously "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience."
While this reversal rings true, still I protest. The human experience IS the spiritual experience. We commend the best among us, the most altruistic as being the most "spiritual," but what we mean is they are the best kind of human, that is attendant and loving to others, selfless, with eyes and heart open to the world, seen and unseen, and awake to the Maker of the world.
This is who we are supposed to be. This is who we can be. There was one man like this. We mourned his death last Friday, and feasted over his return to life three days later. A return that points the way to a fully healed body and spirit---one being.
Are you spiritual yet? I am not. I am working on being fully human right here on this planet, on being conformed to the image of a man whom I will one day see face-to-face, both of us in real bodies. But I have a long way to go before the divisions within me are healed.
The dirty season? Maybe I need to put on that boot under the snow, find the other one in the closet and go out tromping on this wide, muddy earth.
When do you feel the most "spiritual"? The most human?