This week I assisted at my first burial and I was surprised by how draining the experience actually was. The grief of those present was obviously natural, but also quite tangible. It is not often, I guess, that you go to a funeral of someone you do not know. So other funerals I have been to I have been sad and expected to be so; I guess it was a bit of a surprise to feel ‘grief’ with the family at the graveside.
The desert experience has also been added to this week with the need to produce a sermon for Sunday. A desert is quite a sparse place and creativity has been lacking from my week (as shown by a lack of blogging and a fairly empty faith book for this week).
During the week I have felt some resonance with, and enjoying thinking on Mechthild of Magdeburg’s The Desert Has Many Teachings I have particularly drawn from this due to the difficult deserty wilderness experiences that Mechthild of Magdeburg experienced as a result of writing such stuff.
In the desert,
Turn toward emptiness,
Fleeing the self.
Ask no one’s help,
And your being will quiet,
Free from the bondage of things.
Those who cling to the world,
Endeavor to free them;
Those who are free, praise.
Care for the sick,
But live alone,
Happy to drink from the waters of sorrow,
To kindle Love’s fire
With the twigs of a simple life.
Thus you will live in the desert
The desert is an interesting space making environment.