A physical life is a spiritual life

“A physical life is a spiritual life.” –Sarah Miles

This week I began a new adventure. I have become part of a Micah Group–a small group of preachers from the GTA who, sponsored by Fuller Theological Seminary, have agreed to spend two years meeting every other month talking and praying together. The goal is to “form empowered, wise preachers who seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God”. After just one ‘get-to-know-you’ meeting, I am looking forward to this journey with my new and diverse group of friends from the Greater Toronto Area.

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As I was preparing for our next meeting, I ran across an interview with author Sara Miles. She was talking about how we access a spiritual life through our bodies. I like that.

I like it for two reasons. For one, it resonates with my experience. Some of the most significant moments of revelation, some of the most meaningful experiences of peace, and some of the most happy and wonderful connections with God have come through my physical self:  I walked the labyrinth. My babies were born. I saw a sunset. I heard beautiful music.  

The second reason I like what Sara has to say is that it reminds me that God is accessible to anyone who has a body. In other words, you don’t need any special equipment to experience the divine. You don’t have to go anywhere special, either. All you need is with you every day.

121For me, being in the garden connects me with the Creator. I am enriched by what I can see and smell and touch. And the feelings I have, the thoughts that come to me, the way my heart sings or my soul is healed–those are suddenly open to me through my body.

Thinking about spirituality this way makes me understand that part of the reason I yearn to plant a garden is not just so that I can cook with fresh herbs or pick ripe tomatoes (although those are fantastic outcomes!). I am also drawn out into my yard because it is a place where I can connect with God. It is a place that opens the door to spiritual experience and nourishment.

As the snow falls softly out the window, I can only wait for the next season when I will get out there and set to work with soil and plants, sunshine and water. At least now I understand a little better why I am looking forward to it so much. Bring on spring!

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