Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Spirituality of Physical Possessions

Items themselves are not bad, and loving beauty isn't bad, but we need to keep material things in this life in perspective.

  I belong to a mother's bereavement group, which I must say, has been immeasurably helpful to me as a mother of a child who passed to Heaven, too soon, in my view.

          In June of 2012 we were having a conversation on materialism, and I left this particular post.
When the conversation surfaced again, my friend Shirley said she had kept my post because it said things she felt, and she posted it on our group once again.

           In case in strikes a chord with you too, I am reposting it here as well.

<< I consider myself a Christian, and it is a daily and hourly complete passion for me, not simply something which fuels dressing up on a Sunday and making penance as some do, in a week where they don't give God a second thought otherwise. (My, that sounds bitter, and I don't mean it to. I just think that many people who call themselves Christians, worship themselves and turn up at church on Sundays, in order to look good.) As a teen I met a family who was Cherokee, and the father of the family was Chief Jim Thundercloud, who in the 1970s was the chief of the NC remaining band of the Cherokee. I was particularly interested, because although I have Scottish and English blood, on my father's side, we have one solitary Native American ancestor, a woman, who was said to be Cherokee, and one woman who was said to have been Chinese. The Cherokee family I knew was very spiritual, and actually more "Christian" than most of the people I knew. They were exceedingly  spiritual and treated me as a daughter simply because this is how we all should treat one another, as a family of man. With them, I learned a few things which actually helped my faith with regard to Christianity. They not only believed that each living creature was a permanent being, even beyond passing from our bodies. They also believed that the animals were also permanent cosmic creatures also, after passing. One thing I got from them which helps me, is that they also believed that all things, even inanimate objects are holy, and in a sense have a spirit. I struggled with this for a time, but I now see what they mean. Each object here on Earth, whether constructed by man or made exclusively by God, exists because God provided the raw materials or even the talent to us to create such a thing. So, even articles and items are humble examples of God around us, and are here for a purpose also. For this reason, items are important, and should be recycled when we no longer require them. Furniture we do not need should be given to someone in need. Something broken should be recycled in some manner, whenever possible. This Native American view has helped me be generous, love the things I have, give them to others when the day comes when it is right, and gather only what will be rationally used, because every item is a gift from God. This was more helpful than the modern Christian perspective of "Don't get stuck on stuff, because God doesn't like us to be material." or the confusing message of  "If God approves of you, then he will send stuff. He wants you to be materially successful" which was the message I got from church.   I just wanted to give credit to those people who shared enough of their beliefs to me, that when I needed to expand my perspective beyond "suburban limited American churches", that some of the perspectives were already there.
                 Jane             >>

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