The racist shootings in Charleston, South Carolina last week have torn my heart. What motivates anyone to kill fellow human beings? I don’t know the answers, but in the wake of such horror I find myself searching for comfort in community. At my family gathering this past weekend I joined a small discussion entitled, “What is Spirituality?”
The following images that emerged summarize my favorite definitions:
1. The braided way
2. The universal picnic blanket
3. Beyond the windows
Each connotes something larger.
For me, “The braided way” represents many strands of practice, faith and ritual.
“The universal picnic blanket” invites us to sit together and spread out the fruits of our hearts.
Beyond the windows is another universal. Pretend you are in a square building with a courtyard in the center. If you see mountains from your room to the west, and I see a river to the east, while my friend sees a desert to the north and a stranger sees a vast plain to the south, each of us might assume that ours is the only view. If we gather in the building’s courtyard, we could argue about what the world looks like beyond. But, if we stand outside the building on the green grass, we can all see each other’s vista.
There are many different views of spirituality. When we move outside our windows and walls we can see the mountains, river, dessert and plain, all of us together in the green pastures of love. This is my prayer.
What does spirituality mean to you?