Pasture Preaching

Charlie gifted me with a trip to Folly Beach at Charleston to celebrate my recent birthday. The shoreline proved to be a gold mine of heart shaped shells and rocks! I took some with me to share with my little congregation at Cherry Springs,  but saw so many it made my head spin. I have written previously about my fascination with naturally occurring heart shaped things. I so enjoyed this magical time walking on the beach with Creator, feeling completely wrapped up in the Ultimate Love as nearly everywhere I looked, there was a heart shaped shell or rock. To me, finding these heart shapes is a sign of the presence of Divine Love. I don’t know about you, but I often need a sign. Life can get so trying and it is easy to feel alone and afraid.

Out in the pasture with my horse the day we got back, I pondered the meaning of finding that many heart shaped rocks and shells. I concluded that this particular stretch of beach must be special in some way. Perhaps it is, but what happened as I undid the gate and stepped into the horse’s fenced world gives me pause. Exactly at the moment I was thinking this thought, I glanced down at the hard-packed clay of the ground and saw… got it! A heart shaped rock…a big one, and pretty decently shaped! My daughter and I have a running joke that to me, everything looks heart shaped. Sometimes I tease her by exclaiming over some stone that is clearly not heart shaped as though I just found the Holy Grail of stones, then I crack up as, smiling. she rolls her eyes. But this one really was a good one!  Of course, I picked it up, and as I did, I could see that underneath this stone,  something very small lay  nestled in the hard clay as if it had been tucked into bed by a loving hand. It was a tiny heart shaped stone.

As I felt wonder wash over me in that moment I knew I had just been blessed with a Teaching. God’s Love is absolutely everywhere. I had found those hearts on a lovely sandy beach with the lacy ocean waves rolling in, on a perfect day, not too hot, not too cool. I was on vacation. I was, and am, grateful, so very grateful for these. But when I got home exhausted, hot ,  and feeling like I might just need the proverbial vacation from my vacation, my love for the horses propelled me, tired as I was,  straight out to the farm where they are boarded, some 20 minutes each way. It had been a whole 2 days! I just had to see them. When I got there it was a scorching evening, still and sweltering. No ocean breeze here, just parched land, and then the stones appeared, red like the clay, rough and weathered just like me.I knew in my heart exactly what they were saying to me. They spoke of the trap of labels like “special” which indicate that other things are ordinary and of lesser value, when in Truth, all of Creation is a miracle. They spoke of how God’s Love is everywhere we are, whether we are on a beach in a vacation paradise or out in a sparse and rocky field, and  there was more…

God’s big heart protects and shields my own human heart just like the larger rock seemed to protectively cover the smaller one. I can hide there nestled in loving protection,  shielded by Creator’s Big Love any time I feel the need. I too can burrow and ground myself into the clay of Mother Earth’s breast and be protected. God is always waiting to give us comforting messages. This kind of thing happens when we are open to it and believe it is possible. All you have to do is  deeply desire to be led by Spirit, and attune yourself by allowing, rather than forcing it to happen. Open your eyes wherever you are, whether you are in a place that inspires you or not. Your Teachers are all around you. Had you somehow been the one to find these very stones, the messages they held for you no doubt, would be different and your interpretation of them  would not be the same as mine either. This is how Spirit approaches us, as the unique expressions of Love that we are . The One Who Made Us knows us, is there for us, and supports us in ways as individual as we are.

…I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

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