Unseen Order

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

Faith is as much about seeing differently, as it is about living differently, for one leads naturally to the other. These are natural rivers: from contemplation to action, from clarity to compassion. But no matter physical or metaphysical realities, the way we see the world determines how we experience the world. What we notice informs who we become and the choices we make.

Mainstream media, everything from the news to commercials, offer little perspective about what is true, little perspective on what is happening in the world on any given day. Spirituality or faith or wisdom – whatever you call it – should help us look for the miracles. If we believe in, as William James calls it, “the unseen order of things,” then we should look for signs pf the sacred in the everyday.

This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read: “Earth is crammed with heaven. And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” We have Elizabeth Barrett Browning to thank for that.

The earth is cleaning itself. As we stay home, pollution and carbon levels are drastically dropping in cities all over the globe. We are losing a great deal, but we are also gaining something new. The earth is resting, too.

Instead of making gin or vodka, alcohol distilleries are making hand sanitizer. They are repurposing their production to make a substance which will save lives, planning to distribute their new products to healthcare professionals. Innovation is not lost in times of crisis, nor is compassion.

A couple who cancelled their wedding due to the outbreak got married on the street in their New York neighborhood. A friend officiated from an open window several stories above the ground. Love encircles us, even still.

Look for the miracles this week. And look for the order, that which remains. While we have no cures for the infection or for the grief that follows, we do have ways of healing ourselves and others in the midst of this at our fingertips, like hope and faith.