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  • Writer's pictureThe Rev. Beth Knowlton

Whole Heartedness

“So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”

​​​​​​​​— From 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

To be a Christian is to live with a foot in two worlds. We fully embrace the realities of our earthly existence. We look to the joys and the sorrows. We see the places of grace and the places of deep brokenness. We embrace the fullness of life, knowing that ultimately our earthly lives will end, but we also say in faith that this full and good life we have is not all we are promised. We may not fully understand the mysteries of the eternal, but we seek to look for the moments when the veil seems thin, and we catch a glimpse of the transcendent.


In my own spiritual journey, I am influenced by the Celtic notion of “thin spaces.” These are places or moments of beauty which remind us that the present, while fully sacred, is not the last word. The counterintuitive part of this wisdom is that the more we ground ourselves in the present moment, the more we notice glimpses of the beyond. It is about attention and presence. Distraction is the enemy of transcendence; it clouds our perceptions and hogs our imagination.


Children have a capacity to be utterly transfixed by the smallest wonder. What a delight having Ms. Cathy share the stories of Godly Play these past weeks during the intergenerational formation and breakfast gathering. Soon we will share wonderful children’s stories with each other. These stories are not just for children, but for adults, too! I hope it provides moments of recollection of what it is to be child-like so you may see what perhaps comes more easily to the younger ones. 


Next week is one of my favorite times of year—Vacation Bible School. Young members of our community will gather to remember the holy stories of our faith. Those young ones can remind us of the joy and exuberance that comes when we approach life with the whole heartedness that God celebrates. 


In C.S. Lewis’s dedication of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he writes “My Dear Lucy, I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result, you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather.” 


I hope we all have time this summer to read a few fairy tales and take heart from their wisdom. 


Peace, Beth +


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