Spiritual Practices ~ Ordinary Time
Scripture ~ God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the Man he had just made in it. God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. The Tree-of-Life was in the middle of the garden, also the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil.A river flows out of Eden to water the garden…
Genesis 2: 8-10 The Message
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale – Holy, Exhale – Healing
Devotion ~ Holy healing is a part of the creation story. This particular creation story is one that narrates God’s desire for a relationship with what God creates. It’s a story that holds tension: the tree of knowledge becomes the potential for a break in that relationship, a break that leads to grief and to healing. The cycle of grief and healing is repeated throughout history. Whether God’s love and healing can be experienced in difficult situations of deep-seated grief does not change the fact that God is still loving and healing that which God has created. We can grieve and heal at the same time because it is God’s desire to heal whether or not we are able to participate. A companion scripture to today’s verse is interestingly in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. “On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:2b
The world is chaotic right now, still grieving loss for a multitude of reasons. Wherever we are in trying to understand our chaotic world, a holy healing is happening. One place, interestingly, is in our environment. Working from home and a decrease in air travel has improved the air quality in many cities around the world. The Himalayan Mountain peaks can be seen for the first time in decades. And while a picture of flamingos in the Venice canal was the playful work of a digital artist, mountain goats have actually been seen roaming the streets of North Wales for the first time in a long while. Nobody would recommend a pandemic to achieve such changes, but it is one lens we might use to see how a holy healing can intersect with life’s present circumstances.
Grief and healing can also happen within the sacred space of our yoga practice. More than one student has mentioned becoming tearful during yoga and then feeling a cathartic experience of releasing a grief they did not know they had. We call those tears healing waters and we recognize the experience as one way to receive God’s healing presence.
Our poem this week is lyrical, written to the tunes of Greensleeves or Morning has Broken. Listen to an instrumental version of either song as you read the lyrics.
Song of Healing
Healing is flowing, deep in the waters
Flowing from Eden, flowing from old
All through creation, God sends forth waters,
Oceans of healing, for all the world.
Healing is rising, fresh with the morning,
Healing is rising, bursting with grace.
Christ, our rich healing, deep in creation,
Heal Earth’s deep wounds and rise in this place.
Healing is offered, leaves from the life tree,
Healing is offered nations at war.
Come, wounded Healer, torn by the violence,
Rise from the grave, bring peace to our shore.
Healing is given, flows from forgiveness,
Healing is given, flows from our faith.
Christ, give us heart to love your deep healing,
Living forgiveness, even in death.
Healing is rising, free in Christ’s body,
Healing is flowing, free with Christ’s blood.
May this deep healing pulse through our bodies,
Heal the world’s wounds still bleeding and red.
Words: © Norman Habel 2000