Yesterday we shared the diagnosis from M. C. Richards about the “palpable disunion” and “psychic disturbance” and suicides and other maladies that occur when science and religion, psyche and cosmos, split. And I offered a story, somewhat parallel to John’s Gospel (chapter one) of the new and sacred story from science. We continue that story here.
The gifted planet was set as a jewel
in its most exquisite setting,
in this case, the exact distance of 100 million miles
from its mother star, the sun.
New gifts arose, never seen in such forms in the universe–
rocks, oceans, continents,
muticellular creatures that moved by their own inner power.
Life was born!
Gifts that had taken the form of fireball and helium,
galaxies and stars, rock and water, now took the form of Life!
Life—a new gift of the universe, a new gift in the universe.
Flowers of multiple color and scent, trees standing upright,
Forests arose offering places for all manner
of creeping, crawling things.
Of things that fly and sing.
Of things that swim and slither.
Of things that run on four legs.
of things that stand and walk on two.
With thumbs that move to make still more creativity—
more gift making—
The human became a gift, but also a menace.
For its powers of creativity were unique in their potential
for destruction or healing:
How would humans use these gifts?
Which direction would they choose?
The earth waited for an answer to these questions.
And is still waiting.
Teachers were sent, divine incarnations
birthed from the soil.
Isis and Hesiod, Buddha and Lao Tzu, Moses and Isaiah,
Sarah and Esther, Jesus and Paul,
Mary and Hildegard, Chief Seattle and Buffalo Woman.
To teach the humans ways of compassion.
And still the earth waited
to see if humanity was gift or curse.
Have you ever given a gift and then regretted it afterward?
Earth wonders and waits.
For the gift has been made flesh
and dwells everywhere among us
and we tend to know it not.
And to treat it not as a gift
but as an object.
To be used, abused, trampled underfoot—even crucified.
But to those who do receive it as a gift
all is promised.
All shall be called children of the gift,
sons and daughters of grace.
For all generations
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts from the Peoples of the Earth, pp. 2-4
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Is there something in this poem that speaks to your heart and your head also? And to our times of upheaval and our times of learning about our origins and connecting to them in new ways?
Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth
Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.