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Listening to Creation
Listening to Creation

Listening to Creation: Weekly Summary

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Daily cosmic events in the sky and on the earth are the Reality above our heads and beneath our feet every minute of our lives: a continuous sacrament, signs of God’s universal presence in all things. 
—Richard Rohr  

When we visit and revisit the wild places that are special to us, experiences of transcendence are waiting for us there. 
—Tony Jones  

The desert is the homeland of my heart. My spiritual path is cultivating a heart as spacious as the desert: wide open to every direction of the compass, wide open to every creature that walks, flies, or crawls through it, wide open to every change in the weather: darkness and light, sun and rain, aridity and dew, heat, cold, and wind. 
—Tessa Bielecki 

My temple, my mosque, my church of the woods is the holy place to which I return and return. It is a woods that preaches to me, fills me with wordless wisdoms. It is the place where I behold the awe-inspiring mystery of how I hope heaven will someday be. 
—Barbara Mahany 

In our Native way, we are more or less listening, not just to ourselves or what we would say the Spirit puts in our hearts, but to what’s going on around us.  
—Randy Woodley 

All I’m saying is the whole world comes to life: every kind of cactus, every kind of tree or dead branch, the sunrise, the sunset, the different kinds of birds. I find myself in the middle of a universe of belonging.   
—Richard Rohr   

Week Seventeen Practice 

Step Outside 

Spiritual writer Shannon K. Evans asks how the Divine might be communicating through the natural world: 

What would it look like for you and me to open ourselves to hearing the earth ask us to reclaim something? Could the trees really have a story to tell us about the work of the Holy One on this planet? Could mountains draw us deeper into divine presence? Could the animal life scampering around us breathe renewal into our souls if we stop to watch?  

Most of us have probably had a revelatory moment in nature once or twice in our lives. Maybe we assume such things are rare flukes, an occasional happenstance to treasure but not to expect. But what if we can expect them? What if the lines between the material and the spiritual were never meant to be inflexible? If I told you that were you to step outside your door right now there would be a message from God for you, would you go?… 

The earth is alive with Spirit, and there is something for you every single day out that door. Maybe not lightning from heaven, but a movement of Spirit that speaks in that still, small voice inside you. The earth is inviting you to discover incarnation.  

Evans suggests: 

Carve out time to spend in nature, free of agenda. It might be your own backyard for half an hour or it might be a weekend camping trip at a national park.… Below are a few starting points in case you need some handrails…. 

What is one element of nature that I feel drawn to today?  An animal, tree, body of water, wind? Perhaps that drawing I feel is because it has something to say to me.  

​How might God be answering a quandary in my life through this engagement with nature? 

What do I feel in my body?  

Practice active listening. Expect to be shown new ideas, thoughts, or realizations.  

[1] Shannon K. Evans, Rewilding Motherhood: Your Path to an Empowered Feminine Spirituality (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2021), 153–154, 156–157. 

Image credit and inspiration: Benjamin Yazza, Untitled (detail), New Mexico, 2023, photo, used with permission. Click here to enlarge image. Awe is as close as the way a butterfly alights on a flower in the yard outside.  

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