When our Faith & Vocation Fellows and Student Ministry Interns meet twice each month, they normally split into small groups for a student-led contemplative prayer practice. Because of COVID-19, the last few meetings of our semester have taken place online. During one of these meetings we talked about the intersections between science and faith, and on that beautiful Sunday afternoon, the fellows and interns were invited into an individual prayer practice of taking a walk outside while social distancing, taking a photo of something that they were drawn to, and reflecting on the object from a scientific and faith perspective.
Want to do your own Prayer Walk? Take a walk outdoors (while social distancing). Give full attention to your surroundings, then choose one thing you see to focus on.
Reflect on the following
- The item from a scientific/natural perspective. Do some research to aid you in this reflection.
- The item from a spiritual/faith perspective. This should be related to your convictions about God, the planet, and yourself.
Journal, document, draw, record yourself, consider another option, reflect, etc.
Crickets & Frogs Chirp in Harmony
I took a nighttime walk and I decided to take a video of crickets and frogs chirping together instead of a picture.
From a scientific perspective, the ability of two species to live in the same space and carry out their necessary functions with order is fascinating. When you begin to consider all of the species in the picture/recording, myself the plants, insects, other animals, etc. the amount of order surrounding us is astounding. It makes you wonder about the purpose for all of this. Was it random, or intent, or a combination that lead it to all work together like this?
From a spiritual perspective, the harmonious sounds of nature abounding around me is a type of faith. A faith that spring will come after winter and the sounds of each new year will reach our ears. Every new day is a blessing and the sounds of spring are equally a blessing. There is no guarantee that it will occur again, but we trust that it will.
Green Shoots from an Old Log
Bright green buds of grass shoot up from a rotted old log. From death comes new life, surrounded by leaves that are also dead, soon to be replaced with fresh ones on the trees.
How can I be colorful for myself and everyone around me in a time that is otherwise grim? What nourishment will it take to grow this way? What is better to leave behind?
Vulnerable New Shoots
The stalks of this plant are beginning to poke up from the ground. However, they are still tightly closed to protect themselves until they have the strength to safely and fully bloom.
How can I continue to practice self care when things are new and changing? How can I make progress in my life while continuing to keep myself safe and secure? How do I balance risk/reward?