The First Book God gave to humanity is nature, according to Richard Rohr. He believes that we cannot fully understand the Bible without observing it.
Last Saturday afternoon I viewed a movie in our Gathering Place that featured Gaither’s “Passin’ on the Faith” songs. The sound soothed me and I sometimes dozed away contentedly.
The Gaithers sang of the faith that gives them peace and which they wish evangelicals would pass on to others. They focused on the salvation through the Bible. According to news reports, many of today’s evangelicals are politically unhappy, angry and distrustful. Republican candidates for president angrily declare themselves to be Christians who believe certain absolute things about God, the church and salvation, and assume that democrats don’t believe.
At age six I was told I am a Republican! Thirty-four years later I forsook the role of a quiet Republican and became a vocal Democrat. Now I am trying to adopt non-dual thinking as advocated by Richard Rohr. I want to believe that love will eventually overwhelm Democrat and Republican diversities and make them one. That miracle will not happen by believing the words in the second book, but will emerge under the influence of the Spirit that brooded over the abyss from which came nature which Rohr believes to be The First Book.
On the way to and from the Gaither movie I paused for a few moments of worship at our aviary where beautiful little finches with tiny brains know their mates and mate with them, lay tiny eggs, incubate them, and care for their hatchlings. They are a part of the First Book.
I’m fascinated by nature. I’m an amateur bird-watcher. I like flowers, bugs, bees, and butterflies. I pay attention to the earth’s crust. I like rocks that preserve memories. I value a small collection of rocks with memories just outside my back door.
A few weeks ago Kristi Tippett interviewed Robin Wall Kimmerer on “The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life“. (This morning I listened to it again.) Kimmerer is a botanist and a citizen of the Potawatomi tribe of Native Americans. She uses two lenses through which to see life around her. One lense is from science learned in a university; The second lense is ceded to her by the elders among her ancestry. Through these two lenses she sees a beautiful earth . Each being has a memory and the ability to learn. The interview helped me to accept Ned’s eclectic animism.
Father knew both books
studying with care