I’ve found spirit in the streets and in the eyes of fellow travelers, not in ornate buildings
GUEST COLUMN: CYNDI INGLE
I work in a very friendly working-class — not world-class — city. What we’ve got happening here is Charles Dickens’ England meets the Wild West. Beautiful and monstrous things can, and do, happen within steps of each other. You can stroll by art galleries, be pulled into bars to hear cranked live music, and then run a gauntlet of street people and addicts who are on crank.
Their faces and stories will squeeze the happiness out of your heart, and leave little behind.
Since (on a good day) I’m a friendly person, and this is a down-to-earth town, I end up chatting with many people. And a few days ago, during the start of a snow storm, I crossed the road at the same time as an elderly black man with bright blue eyes; what began as a chat turned into him trying to recruit me to his flock.
This is where we differed in our views. To me “spirit” is in everyone and everything. His come-on: the fellowship of going into a structure to be with other like minded individuals to pray and worship helps induce a feeling of spirit. But if you already feel that “spirit,” why do you need a building?
It seems that the wealth and grandeur that is exhibited in some places of worship seems to be diametrically opposed, even negating, the “spirit” feeling, at least for me.
Why do we need opulent dwellings and/or fellowship to feel spiritual?
Can we just gaze into the eyes of our fellow travelers in this dimension and existence that we call “life,” and see how we are all the same? Can we revel in nature and animals, and find the spirit there? I’m giving this route a try
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