This morning I woke up before the sun and saw the big yellow moon in the backyard. It was full and bright and gorgeous.
In this season of thanksgiving, I am grateful for what Barbara Brown Taylor calls “Lunar Spirituality” in her book, Learning to Walk in the Dark. She says:
I have been given the gift of lunar spirituality, in which the divine light available to me waxes and wanes with the season. When I go out on my porch at night, the moon never looks the same way twice. Some nights it is as round and bright as a headlight; other nights it is thinner than the sickle hanging in my garage. Some nights it is high in the sky, and other nights low over the mountains. Some nights it is altogether gone, leaving a vast web of stars that are brighter in its absence. All in all, the moon is a truer mirror for my soul than the sun that looks the same way every day.
Taylor talks about the gifts she has found from “dark” times in her life. She believes (as do I) that there are some lessons that can only be learned in darkness in our lives.
That is a gift for me. In the seasons where life is hard — when my reality is below my expectations — it is a needed reminder that we aren’t doing anything wrong. In fact, if you find yourself in a place where nothing is clicking, where days are tough and your resources seem limited, then look to the moon. Look to the moon that reminds us sunny positivity is not the only option. We can have deep hurt and distrust too. We can have despair and pain and that doesn’t mean we are wrong.
My faith (Christianity) has hurt me and I know so many others by only offering one option: full sunny spirituality. But as Taylor says, the moon may be a more accurate reflection of what we feel on a day-to-day basis.
This Thanksgiving I am grateful for a love that goes deep into darkness too. God’s love for me doesn’t stop at the end of my ability to hope. God’s commitment to me isn’t tied to my ability to “shine like the sun.” Instead, God allows me to learn in the waxing and waning of an honest soul that longs for the bright sunny days, but is content to be authentic in the cold winter nights where the only light is a bright full moon.
A Moon Prayer:
Sister Moon, you come and go almost
unnoticed… until you are.
Then your big beautiful warmth strikes me.
It stops me.
Your reflection of light can capture even the most tired of eyes.
Your round luminosity calls me in.
Sits me down.
Holds my attention.
Asks me to be.
So I sit. And wait.
I wait for each moment to bring something near as you drop along the horizon.
I wait, full of hope, but not expecting much.
I want to lay all my hopes and dreams around you, but I’ve learned to be careful.
You throw caution to the wind, allowing each moment to be big and beautiful.
Teach me how to be careful and full at the same time.
Teach me how to hold that tension you do so well.
Gather me into your burgeoning life that’s really just a reflection — pure reflection — of the sun.
Hope, fill me too.
Grace & Peace, Cole