Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for...

Wikipedia says, “The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition, although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred.”

I’m not really sure why we need social scientists to define spirituality for us.  It sounds like what most Christians have been practicing for centuries but I guess I should be glad science is even acknowledging humanity’s spirituality. For so much of my youth, it was downplayed as a psychological aberration or a mental illness and so maligned, that our culture even began to deny its existence.

But God planted a need deep inside us, a yearning for Him, a desire to seek Him out. Even though popular culture wanted to ignore it, the human soul cried out for fulfillment, completion in its Creator.

It’s true, modern culture searched for fulfillment in things such as new age concepts, ecological struggles and humanism. But each of these paths contains elements of their creator. Our voices may not give the right words to these experiences but our spirits recognize Him.

I live in a large international community. My daily life includes Christians of the Eastern Orthodox faith, Catholics from India, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims. I am allowed to practice my faith in this country but not to evangelize or proselytize. It’s all right. I don’t need the words.

A baby camel slipped behind its mother and stared at me with curious, cautious eyes. Like a stunning ball of fire, the sun sank into the mirror-like stillness of Lake Nasser, leaving a watching crowd speechless. A frail, confused and frightened old woman wrapped in a black abaya, chattered meaninglessly on an airplane until her son, a grown man, gently took her arm and calmed her in a soft, loving tone.

Each time I witnessed these things, I looked around. Someone met my gaze. We were from different cultures, didn’t even speak the same language but a spark was lit. Our spirits soared across our differences and for one moment, one minute in time, we were united in the knowledge that we had been touched by God.

Cultures did not separate us. We needed no words. Our spirits stood together in awe of our Creator. That’s all the definition of spirituality I need.


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