Wilderness


“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.’
But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.

For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.

But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
― Chief Luther Standing Bear

It is interesting to be part of a church whose name includes the word “Wilderness”.  Of course, the founding of our church named us Wilderness because we were so far from other churches.  And the amusing shift from Saint John the Baptist to Saint John the Divine betrays an important reality about our cathedral.

Wilderness is such a healing place in which to walk.  The air is fresh and the dangers keep one alert.  The water is clean and clear and the sounds are many.

What kinds of wildernesses are those in which we find ourselves?  What wildernesses are there to be found in marriages, in vocations, in budgets, in missions, in friendships, in worship?

Into what wilderness are you being called?  Into what wildernesses am I being called?  Worthy questions.  Powerful questions.

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