In this season of solstice, when faith communities are recognizing through sacred and beloved celebrations the power of the Divine to insert itself with Hope and the Force through the most humble and imperfect of our human actions, it’s time to pause and ask ourselves: where do we need the Force to keep going and how can we pass it on here and now to others and in the days to come through changing our ways of looking at things or doing things or getting past apathy and cynicism to work with others?
I look at the small island nations who traveled to Paris to speak the truth of their problems with rising oceans and bleaching corals; at the nations and people of Germany welcoming Syrian refugees into the country and homes with open arms. Of Canada, who is welcoming them with warm coats and clothes and food and kindness. Of Italy and Greece and so many others with swelling camps on their shores. I love the story of the newly married Turkish couple in the southern town of Kilis who for their wedding feast, pooled their honeymoon money and donations of their guests and together they all served food to 4,000 Syrian refugees.
“Seeing the happiness in the eyes of the Syrian children is just priceless,” said the new husband. “We started our journey to happiness by making others happy. That’s a great feeling.”
There is much to do in this world to ease and prevent suffering, and with this group, for the health of the oceans and all the peoples and species that depend upon them, which is, in the end, all of us. As the author Paul Hawken said to a group of graduates, “You are brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring.”
Consider this thought. You are naturally brilliant, made of the Light, the Divine Force of the God who created you and the universe, and is keeping us and it all going, inserting Spirit and Light wherever and whenever we open ourselves to It. Let us go forth through this season, whatever our faith and spiritual paths, attuned to that Light and the chances to pass it on, and seeing It in the works and beliefs of others.
I am so grateful in my Catholic Christian way to welcome the Holy Family into my home and see where these refugees of God lead me and my family. We shall offer our small imperfect gifts, talents, and hopes and seek ways to serve. And I shall hold in my heart especially all of those who live by the sea or are traveling in perilous ways over it, hoping for new lives. May we help them to these uncertain but potentially better lives and embrace our brother and sister species, especially marine species, to greater love and compassion as part of our sense of family and fellow citizens of the planet.
May you invite the Force to be with you … and listen bravely to its promptings.
By Marybeth Lorbiecki, Director, Interfaith Oceans