Monday, August 4, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I come into the peace of wild things who do not
tax their lives with forethought of grief... For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

- Wendell Berry, wise person, born on this day, 1934

One preacher on Sunday suggested that Jesus, having gone to a “quiet place”, might have been a little pissed off to discover a huge, hungry crowd waiting for him. Another friend and I were a little bemused as to why he thought Jesus might feel like that. But then I read Wendell Berry. I thought about Dennis and I driving up last night from trying to find the Reddish Egret that’s been around Goleta Slough, saying nothing for an hour, contemplating the lovely soft golden hills of the Central Coast.

I think of Montfort, of my isolated house in Millerton, Mt. Calvary Retreat House in Santa Barbara, of other beautiful quiet places in Nature I have sought out and cherished. Places that have allowed me to “rest in the grace of the world”, be calm in the “peace of wild things” that are just Being, without forethought of grief, sharing their freedom. Blessedness!

Of course Jesus responded to their longings and need. He is like that, feeding us with God’s life-giving Word and asking us to respond in kind to others, to “Give them something to eat yourselves”.

But. We all need to be refreshed and freed from great loads now and then. Being quietly among wild things, resting in the grace of the world, is not self-indulgent. If you are lucky enough to have it - and many don’t in the harsh and poor and ravished and war-torn places of the world - take it. Be fed by it. And remember that to those to whom much is given, much is “required”.

But it isn’t a “requirement” to take the Peace and Freedom you’ve been graced with and splash it around as far as you can!


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