Since we cannot go to church today, and the theme of the sermon was to be something about “power”, here are some pictures to inspire reflection. My dad used to paint, and in the house where I grew up hung a painting of a scene much like the one above, in my parents’ light blue bedroom. The rocks were a little different, but the overall effect was quite similar. Now, the ocean scene calls to mind all the things that go along with memory of that room and its painting: security, comfort, relaxation, the presence of authority, the regular habit of reading, and little bowls of apples or oranges separated into segments! Parental power shares a few things with oceanic power: omnipresent, much greater than sometimes realized, with a natural ebb and flow, permitting and restricting, shaping and retreating.
Above is a volcanic rock from the Kona coast, Hawaii. This brings to mind not only the amazing activities of the earth that shaped it, but the ways that humans seek treasure from the earth and transform those treasures into instruments of power. Superstitions also tell against removing a piece of that lava from the Island. Maybe it’s always bad to give that sort of reason any power, but maybe it’s sometimes good when superstitious thinking leads us not to harm things?
And above is the kind of power I embrace and seek to cultivate in my life.