This week I celebrated communion, sitting by the edge of Lake Ontario with a soft croissant I bought for a dollar and a thermos full of hot chamomile tea. It was just me and God, an unrelenting summer wind, and waves as far as I could see.
It was simple and sacred, ordinary and life altering. That’s what spiritual practice is all about for me - a constant reminding of ourselves that God is in the everyday. In our hunger, in water, in the squawking seagulls, the air, the quiet moments when we get still enough to remember that everything is sacred.
This is the kind of ministry I long to have in the world - a ministry of remembering. A ministry of helping all of us reconnect with ourselves, each other and God so that together we can remember that the sacred is always right here… as close as our own breath.
In a couple of weeks, I am going to be ordained as a non-denominational minister with a small local organization. The slow and tenuous journey back to my pastoral calling has felt in moments almost unbearable. My nervous system and my brain have flashed warning signals more times than I can count, threatening danger and re-traumatization. I’ve had to work diligently to keep myself calm, to stay rooted in the truth of my life today, and to let an immense well of gratitude, love and inner knowing be what moves me.
Here are some of the truths that anchor me:
I am surrounded by a community of people who know me and love me. We are not always alike, but in sharing our hearts, our vulnerabilities, our food, our homes, our struggles, our joys and our prayers we are brought into communion. In this sharing I see God, and I know I belong and am loved.
My relationship with the sacred is more nuanced, attuned and riveting than it has ever been. My life with God has deepened, developed greater texture and mystery and flourished into a solid, steady faith my younger self couldn’t have imagined. I see how much bigger the sacred is than any one faith or tradition. I am profoundly grateful for this deepening of my life within God most of all.
I am loved, and I am love. To surrender to this truth is to walk resolutely into the direction of my calling to ministry. Talking about spirituality and holding space for all of us to reconnect with the sacred within us and all around us brings me more joy than I can articulate. I get to devote myself to my own wild, ridiculous joy. It is my birthright.
I trust that nothing that comes from deep within us can lead us astray. This applies to my longing to be with people in a spiritual context. I can ground myself in this when I am afraid or uncertain. It is precisely because I do not precisely know what the next chapter will look like that I know I am following where spirit is calling step by step.
After over a year of deep discernment, classes, pilot sacred services, sessions with shamans, intuitives & tarot readers, meetings with priests and pastors, travelling workshops, one on one work, retreats, circles, books and therapy, I am here recommitting my life to following the leading of my soul.
As I wrote in my ordination letter, “To feel myself engage in my life’s work is indescribable. It is the presence of Spirit rushing up into my body, through my heart and out of my mouth. It is God, gathered in a room of once upon strangers, making the sacred known one breath at a time.”
In some ways, living out this calling is the simplest thing I can imagine. In other ways, surrendering to my joy fully expressed has been one of the most complex journeys of my life.
We are here to co-create with Spirit, to make manifest God, to be the holy and the sacred.
I believe that we are the holy and the sacred even when we forget.
I am learning to remember.