What Isaiah’s poem does for those starving souls, is offer hope. God is watching. Like an eagle that soars above the earth, God sees each and everyone of God’s people. God sees, knows, and names the beloved community.
Isaiah’s poetry reminds me of a Native American story. As an Interfaith Chaplain at Salem State University, I am charged to incorporate multiple traditions of spirituality. Native American spirituality, rooted in the rhythms of the Earth and Sky, is one of those traditions. The words on the cover of the bulletin come from a Native American prayer for peace: “Roaring Thunder, all-seeing Great Spirit – You are the one who does not hesitate to respond to our call. You are the cornerstone of peace.”
There is a particular Native American story that I’ve used in interfaith meditation groups. The story goes like this: “In the year 2000, elders of the Hopi Nation made a prediction about the future and the new millennium. Considered the “earth protectors” they likened the future to a flowing stream: ‘We are now in a fast flowing river and many of us will feel afraid and try to cling to the shore. But those who cling to the shore will suffer greatly.’ The elders continued: “Let go of the shore and push off into the middle of the river, see who is there with you, and celebrate.”
In today’s New Testament lesson, Jesus SEES the unclean spirit within the man in the synagogue, and with authority, he rebukes the spirit saying: “Be silent and come out of him!” As Jesus healed people, he proclaimed that everyone belongs in the rapid waters of God’s flow. Let go of your demons and push off into the middle of the river, see who is here with you, and celebrate.”
Our scriptures tell us that God is both above the circle of the earth and right here in the flow of life. God lifts us with wings of strength and hope, and God heals us so we can let go and trust that we belong in God’s beloved community.
Are you starving for a renewed relationship with God? Are you starving for God’s healing presence, for God’s strength and enduing love? Are you starving for God? “Let go of the shore and push off into the middle of the river, see who is there with you, and celebrate.”
Laura Biddle, Interim Pastor