Prologue from The Spiral Garden by Anne Hines.
I read this book a few years ago when I was still adapting to ministry. I loved it. I also read "the Passion of Reverend Nash" around the same time. I liked this book, Spiral Garden, because it was full of tidbits like what is written above and the tidbits can be a line.. such the following: But they are all packed with interesting points to ponder.
Abraham Joshua Heschel:
“We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail, because our mind is like a fantastic sea shell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.”
p.200 My hero of the Celtic Church, Palagius, had an idea that, better than a priest, we all needed a "soul friend". Not someone who tells us how to make our journey, but someone who travels beside us, sharing our learning, sharing our fear. You and I have not exactly appeared to travel in step ... but we do give each other this -- we witness each other's journey.
This is probably one of the closer definitions/analogies for what pastoral/spiritual care is.
p 212 Religion is founded on the feeling of being uncomfortable. Discomfort is a gift. It's what compels us to search.There's not a person on the face of the earth, who hasn't wondered, at least for a moment "Why am I?" Not even "why am I here?" I think, but "Why am I?" That is what makes us search. Possibly it is even what makes us human. It is also what tells us there is a God, because we are born into this world knowing from our first heartbeat that there is something missing.
The question speaks to our aloneness. As if, knowing purpose, we could feel connection. I know that aloneness. I know that other too. It's what I've seen occur.. people finding an answer for themselves, by letting the truth to them in the language they can hear best.
Jung said that religion is a defense against a religious experience.
I don't know exactly what this quote means. In the context of the book, I do, but I think that this refers to the fact that some people hide behind the rituals of religion but don't really go deep into what the "religion" teaches. Religion for me, is different from faith. Faith is what you believe and how you live it out in your life. Religion is the label that people use to define what they believe. I will likely think about that one some more later.
A rabbi, passing by a farmer’s field, heard a farmer singing as he worked. “Dearest God,” the man bellowed joyously, “if I could give you a radish, I’d give you the biggest radish in my garden.” The rabbi was shocked, and going over to the farmer, he admonished him, “that’s no way to address our King! Let me teach you a proper prayer so your words may be accepted by God’s ears.” So the rabbi taught the man a very formal and ancient prayer. The next week, the rabbi was passing the farmer’s field and saw the man was hard at work, but this time no sound escaped his lips.The same thing happened the next week, and the next. The farmer never sang again. Finally, the rabbi died. He arrived at the gates of heaven and was greeted by the sound of angels singing loudly, proclaiming their love and devotion to God. The angels sang, “Dearest God, if we could give you a radish, we’d give you the biggest radish in the garden.”