Traveling the ancient paths of the dark seasons in search of the light often requires depending on ancient practices for our tools and compasses. One such tool is called “lectio divina,” which means “sacred reading.” Instead of reading a piece of text for information, lectio divina invites us to read the text for transformation, which is quite a significant difference. Information feeds the head; transformation changes the heart. The purpose of lectio is to allow time for a word or phrase that catches our attention or touches that deep part of us to take root and become a guide as we walk our journeys. Lectio is similar to hearing that still small voice of God, Being, Universe whisper personally to us.
What is inviting about lectio is that it isn’t limited to the written text. We can experience lectio with a painting, a song, nature, photography, all of which have messages waiting to be shared. I was gifted with that experience this week when a friend introduced me to the song “Everything is Holy Now” by Peter Mayer and found on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiypaURysz4.
The first word that caught my heart was “holy” because Advent and the winter season can be entered into intentionally as a process toward transformation, becoming holier, not in a Bible-thumping, superficial way, but with the hope found in the original meaning of the word: to be made whole. To move toward wholeness is to embrace both the shadows and the light as part of our being and as part of creation as we move toward our center.
The second part of the song that stopped me are these lines:
“So . . . the challenging thing becomes
Not to look for miracles
But finding where there isn’t one.”
Not to look for miracles? Isn’t that what we all yearn to do as the end hopefully comes to this dark, worrisome, angry and divisive year? The song writer instead challenges us to find a moment, a situation, where there is no miracle; he invites us to expect, not search for, the miracles happening all around us. Now, not tomorrow, next week, next year. Now. What a “holy” change in perspective it takes to notice the burning bushes all around us.
Following his lead, I invite you to spend some lectio time with Peter Mayer’s song and listen for what speaks to you, considering how you might use his message as an angel guiding you toward the light. For my part, my desire is to be granted eyes that recognize the miracles shimmering in the dark places, to expect flickers of candlelight that remind me of the presence of God/Creator/Spirit to illuminate my path toward wholeness. Blessings to you.