I used to have a picture in my head of what being a pilgrim on the Way meant. The Way being, if not exactly a physical path through our world, at least a metaphorical one. I imagined, there was a path out there. I just had to find it. And once I did, I could follow it to some distant really great place. If I stepped off of it, I had to do everything I could to get back on.
But, these days I wonder about that idea. Psalm 85:13 reads, "Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps." This sounds more like the path is becoming before us and God is inviting us to participate in that creation. We aren't walking the Way with Jesus. Jesus IS the Way. Being a pilgrim is about the process of following Jesus, not about what you are going to do when you arrive at some future point.
God is constantly creating through us and around us. God is involved in our lives. God didn't just lay out an unfathomably giant set of dominoes and sit back to watch them fall. God is creating the path with us as we walk it. All the time. There is no "off the path." There is only being a pilgrim of God or not choosing to participate.
Here are some of the amazing ways that God has been creating life and grace around our church community this week.
Creating friendships at La Casa between children who are from different countries, speak different languages, and participate in different religions and yet have found abundant joy and laughter together.
Creating community in a time when it is so easy to feel alone and in a place that only months ago was actually a trash heap.
The SOOPers Bruce and Mark creating beauty and functionality all around our church and plaza.
The SOOPers Jeanne and Sheryl creating something new from the old. Just look at that carpet glue gunk they are scraping off to reveal the beautiful wood underneath!
Creating order from the chaos. Our new family has spent hours cleaning and sorting the shed at La Casa. They are also creating new life by setting aside boxes of things that were slated to be thrown away. Instead, they are making a plan to send them to Africa.
Seedlings getting ready to create a field of wildflowers in a few weeks.
Buds on the fig tree getting ready to become leaves.
An old church door being re-created and drifts of sawdust as a sign of new life.
This last picture is of a just-born squirrel that fell out of its nest 40 ft up in a tree and somehow managed to survive despite landing on a concrete sidewalk in the cold and being prodded by curious children for several minutes. Its mother was nowhere to be seen. Amazingly (after staging an impromptu squirrel incubator), it's still alive two days later. But this new life is so fragile. What if it dies? What if it survives?? We can't know where we are going, but we can choose to be pilgrims on the Way, participating in creation.