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The Peace of Wild Things

A raging global pandemic.

An election season that’s still unsettled.

Economic uncertainty.

For all of us, we feel the weight and the heaviness.

And in the midst of it all, moments of goodness.

The joy of new life.

Celebrations of relationships and milestones.

Joyful moments with family and friends.

These are complicated times. I don’t always know what to feel, but in my better moments I remember that we’re not the first generation to live in times of upheaval. When the followers of Jesus wanted to know when the kingdom would finally come, when the establishment of justice and righteousness would finally arrive, he reminded them,

“…Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

That is both a comfort and a challenge to me. But the good news is that we—you and I—have the presence of God’s kin-dom within and among us. We don’t have to wait. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for. And when it all feels a little too overwhelming, I often return to the words of one of my favorite authors, the farmer-poet Wendell Berry, who wrote these words:

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

For a time, even if just a moment, find that place of freedom. Find the peace of wild things. And know that wherever you are and however you are feeling, God is with you. You are not alone. Amen.

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