Thursday, July 05, 2012

Independence Day


My faith is situated some place between early-church mystic and holy-roller Pentacostalism on the chart, an odd place to be for an ex-Baptist who attends an Anglican church. Sometimes I flirt with Dostoevsky-style eastern orthodoxy or Cardinal Newman Catholicism, too. So what does it mean to be an early-church mystic? It means that the Spirit infuses all things, present in each moment, more present, immanent, than we can conceive. That God is present all around us, numinous, in the world.

It's funny how the Baptist evangelicalism I was raised with was so uncomfortable with the acts of the Spirit. Hysterical. We believed, yes, that He/It was one of the three parts of the triumvurate Trinity, the triune God, but were were much more comfortable with God the Father, the God of vengeance and the law, or blue-eyed Christ Jesus. The Holy Ghost made us think of the wild-eyed New Agers I was warned against in filmstrips. Really, the Spirit is the one that Christ leaves with us, the God that lives inside.

As I begin to find a place as a farmer, it feels like the Spirit is closer than ever. “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower,” as Dylan Thomas puts it, is not that the Spirit of God? That force which aligns coincidence and our archetypal subconscious, which speaks to us in dream, which uses signs and wonders to keep our attention—is not that the Spirit of God? “God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature” those that “since the creation of the world... have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse...” Are those invisible qualities not the Spirit of God? All we can see of God in the world—is not that his Spirit?

Maybe it's just the wildflowers springing out after the rain reminding me of the lilies of the field. Buttercups, daisies, pale purple clover, little off-white bells that remind me of purses. “They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is throw into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

That's me. She of little faith. A friend of mine suggests trusting that the force that drives the green fuse through the flower will drive it through me, too. But he's braver than I am.

And the skunk, our brave miniature skunk, came back too. We're going to try to convince him to become our pet. I may be taking baths in milk and tomato juice any day now.

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