You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
- Mary Oliver
I learned many important things during my three years of seminary, but none more important than this:
"Minister is not a title; it is a verb."
To minister, the dictionary tells us, is to attend to the needs of someone. We can only do that when we recognize that we, like the geese, are all flying together. It takes all of us attending to all of the rest of us, in order for us to find our way home. In the ceremonies or rituals which I help to create, in the talks and workshops that I give, what I hope to do is to create connection and communication that brings us all together, that helps us all remember that we all belong in the family of things, united by love.