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One World

November 28, 2020

When I was a little boy, my world was what I saw around me. It was centered on a Mother and Father and an older brother in a home that was more than just a house. There was school and church and relationships and feelings. There was life all around me. Other people and other families, but also mosquitos and frogs, dogs and cats, horses pulling ice and milk wagons. There were trees, and grass and flowers, sidewalks and paved streets whose tar was hot to bare feet in the summer. On trips in our 1926 Buick, I’d get carsick.. There was the warm and bright sun each day, but also sunburns in summer. At night, either the moon filled the sky or the brilliant Milky Way spread its stars against a dark sky.

It was an ordered world for me, with teachers and ministers (my Father was the Methodist minister.) There were policemen, firemen, and postmen. There was an A&P Grocery store, a Rexall Drug store with ice cream cones and jimmies, and big department stores in nearby Boston, and everyone dressed up even to go shopping.

As a small boy God was somewhere “up there” as our creator, but also within me as my conscience. He also loved me as a Father. Only later did I understand God loving me as a Mother. And I learned the larger story of the world’s creation and evolution, which I see as God’s gradual revelation to us as thinking human beings. And what a grand story it is.

I now see each day as a new revelation of God’s world . By world, I mean the entire Universe from the tiny atomic systems to the largest galaxies, constantly creating with birthing and dying, and including our Earth as a living and integral part of that creating that includes even you and me. It is One World. It is a Sacred World. I see God’s Love in all the relatedness and relationships that have evolved as Life developed here on our Sacred Earth. How privileged we are as human beings to share in that Life and Love. Our response must be awe and wonder and gratitude, but also compassion and justice – and grief at our failures.

Listen to the words of Mary Oliver’s one-sentence “Poem of the One World.”

This morning the beautiful white heron was floating along above the water
and then into the sky of this one world we all belong to
where everything sooner or later is part of everything else
which thought made me feel for a little while more beautiful myself.
(A Thousand Mornings, by Mary Oliver. 2012 The Penguin Press)

Loren Bullock
November 21, 2020

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