When I was little I was fascinated with mythology and fantasy. I loved reading about different worlds and ideas about God. It seemed like there was so much possibility in these worlds. As I got older, I would read books and find in them beautiful gems of wisdom that I could carry with me to reflect on in my own life. I would watch a fantasy movie and find God written in the subtext. I would get so excited about it and want to share but people wouldn’t get it, it was strange to them.
I was walking with my friends and mentor up the side of a mountain in El Salvador to visit some people I had come to love. As I walked around, I noticed what looked like a field of green amidst an otherwise very dry and dusty road. I had the impulse to climb the ledge and go exploring, normally, I would squash it but I didn’t and I started climbing. My friends had noticed my diversion and followed. We found ourselves walking through a coffee finca. The light was captivating, it was shining through the leaves and there was this beautiful old tree with a hollow in it. You could rest on it, but there was a huge beehive there. I found myself buzzing with energy, caught up in the beauty and connection of it all
I was in the middle of writing a sacred biography about a person who I was arguing was a saint, when I ran into a writing block. I had to imagine what the sermon the woman heard, that changed her life, would have felt like and evoked. I needed to find a way to create that for the reader and I was stuck. I had been working on this project for days. For some reason I felt drawn to my pastels. It did not feel like the time, yet I couldn’t get at what I was trying to grasp. Things felt dry as if the well I draw from was empty. I took out my pastels and found myself creating images of light that felt like they captured the movements of her journey. After I finished, I was unblocked, I knew what I needed to write, and I was almost jumping with energy.
These are the moments of joy. The moments of rage have also been revealing. Rage about how many of my friends learned from a young age, that it was not their brains or hearts that men would be drawn to but their bodies, so that must be made the priority and focus. Rage about pressure to conform to a certain type of spirituality and experience of God. Rage about how depending on our family upbringing, context, and race, we are either more or less situated for access and success. Rage that those circumstances we were born into led to more wounds for some than others that get in the way of our relationship with God.
My vocation call seems to be to help people see God moving in their lives, whether it is through movies and books, nature, art, or people. My task is to help them see the web of life and recognize the threads that have been woven through their lives. To help them see that way that the creator is trying to draw them closer. What that looks like right now is pursuing learning how to make straw bale and cobb houses and being in conversation about living in an ecumenical community on the land that welcomes and supports people in transition spaces in life. This is still new and emerging.