Your Point of Pressure

abstract drawing by Mark R. Turner entitled "Pressed from Beyond"
“Pressed from Beyond,” a contemplative drawing in pencil, oil pastel, digital drawing and digital collage by Mark R. Turner, June 26, 2018. The unknown presses and shapes us. Get this image to contemplate at Art by Mark.

A friend and I were standing outside at night in the summer, mountain air. The stars were gloriously spread across the clear sky and my friend asked, “What is the first thing you think of when you look up there?”
My involuntary impulse was “love.”
On the surface I think I meant that I loved it, but as soon as I said it I knew I was participating in an exchange of love with my sky, my stars, the embrace of the universe. It was a thankfulness for being a member of this Body.

What About the Troubles?

In the last few weeks I have experienced the turmoil of circumstances in our world: two friends surprised with diagnoses of cancer, one now gone and the other going through the fight, another friend losing family and job at a time of life when people should be able to retire with honors, a repressive society getting more and more repressive, twisted minds shooting people and claiming biblical authority to collect children in cages.  And yet I talk about “love?”

When I look at the stars I know they are points of the greatest violence in the universe. Creation is explosive, tearing apart and smashing the pieces together under unimaginable pressure. I know that creation is a process advancing, progressing, making the abundance that gives us life and sustenance. The creatures here participate in that process, but humans have the capacity to oppose it with grave, destructive results.

The Gift Given to Us

We have the unique gift of making some of the decisions for the on-going creation. Most of us deal with consequences of foolish mistakes by a few at the top. We are routinely faced with the choice to run from or fight these troubles. Regardless of their source, desrving or not, we are left to face the troubles or avoid them until we are washed away.
We are the points of explosion and pressure in our places of creation. It is for our consciousness to be the forming agent of our part of the universe. Rather than run, or fight it, neither of which has much effect, the third way is to be the agent of life in the midst of the trouble. This is a reach for the unknown power that I felt when I said “love” into the starry night.

Pushing Through

We have created language which I use now to touch that sense in you of being a point of creation, you a human participating in the advancing universe. You can recognize yourself as one of the saints and heroes of song and story, those who receive the touch of God and without knowing everything, walk through the trouble as transformative agents. The unexplained comes upon us who are too small to fight, too slow to run, and we rise unexplainably to heal the plagued, calm the storm, feed the multitude, speak the truth, overturn the money tables in the institutions hiding behind religion.

Let them try to bury our Body!

2 Responses

  1. Dave Olson

    Your description, “the stars … are points of the greatest violence in the universe,” gave deeper meaning to a reflection I had recently on my own inner violence which had crept out against another. Meditating on this I came to accept that the evil in me provoked also a growth in self-understanding and growth in ways of relating to others. The violence in me is a power for destruction and for creativity.

    • markart

      It is a mystery how life and growth in God’s Body, in us individual cells and the whole, absorbs even the evils and transforms them to build the glory that is ahead. I am praying to live through the trials of the day with that optimism so that I am a factor in the expansion of God’s universe. Thank you for exemplifying that.