When our soul is lost, where shall we find it?

October 26, 2011

I wore my clergy robes and joined my colleagues in a walk to Occupy Seattle this week. I went to listen and learn, in search of ways our nation might be trying to reclaim its soul.

I sometimes wonder if our soul even knows where to find us, smothered as we are by greed, fear, and cynicism. Yet, I hear a cry from under the buried parts of ourselves yearning for a miracle renewal of wholeness and decency towards one another. It is a dialogue that needs both the 1% and the 99% if we are to survive.

Theologian Leonardo Boff reminds us that even when life as we know it seems about to be extinguished, life beyond us has another agenda:

The Spirit is that little flicker of fire burning at the bottom of the woodpile. More rubbish is piled on, rain puts out the flame, wind blows the smoke away. But underneath everything an ember still burns on, unquenchable. The Spirit sustains the feeble breath of life in the empire of death.

What does it mean for an empire of death to die? It does not go easily into its grave. Perhaps we will find our soul when we are ready to go into those places we most deeply fear and bury the lies we have told ourselves. It will hurt. We will grieve for a life we’ve known even if it has been strangling us because we know how to play the roles we have been taught matter the most.

Now we wrestle with questions like who decides what matters the most? For whose benefit are institutions making their decisions? What voices are left out of the conversation? How can we make it different?

I praise the searching, as messy and confused and difficult as it may be. For to give up the search, is to assume our soul has died and can’t be found. I choose to believe differently. Join me in the search; your voice matters.

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