Clearing The Way As A Spiritual Practice

How does it feel when the way is clear? How do you know it is clear? What do you do when it is not clear? What do you do intentionally to clear the way or keep it clear?

These are questions that I have been pondering as I prepared to

begin this month’s blog series on clearing the way.

Today, I can relate something of what I re-discovered yesterday. As with most people I was aware of the events in Las Vegas on Sunday evening. News reports began to be aired late Sunday evening as I was preparing to rest. When I awakened some of the enormity of what had happened was being broadcast by the news media. I felt overwhelmed by grief and simply did not want to get out of bed. It was simply too much. Even prayer was an effort.

As I watched my newsfeed, a request came across my screen for someone to transport an injured bird to the wild life center about 45 minutes away. After waiting a short time, hoping that someone else would volunteer, I called and found out that the bird still needing transporting. I said that I would come right away.

When I arrived, I found that the bird had been placed in a box with tall sides, on top of some t-shirts. As I looked into the box I saw a small bird, alert but not fluttering around and not making any sounds.

I carried the bird to the car and began the transport to the wild life hospital. Once there, I carried the box with the bird to the reception desk where the bird was identified as a Townsend’s warbler and whisked away by caring hands. I remained to answer some questions and was on my way home.

I am in no way minimizing the scope of the tragedy in Las Vegas or the loss that will continue to be felt by individuals and communities in the face of this violence. However, what responses can we make? What keeps us from making them?

I wonder if when there is little we can seemingly do, when it is easy to slide into despair and feelings of futility, we can listen for what we can do in that moment, and simply do it. Our small actions can create change and clear the way.

10/13/17 update: I called the wildlife rescue hospital and received a report that the Townsend’s Warbler was well. He had been released back into the hills not far from where he came. đź’—

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