Patricia Adams Farmer is a pastor, writer, animal lover, chocolate enthusiast, classical guitarist, and author of several books in the areas of spirituality and process theology. Check out a complete list of her essays on Open Horizons (openhorizons.org) and her "Process Musings" blog posts at Spirituality & Practice (spiritualityandpractice.com),
As we move around this world and as we act with kindness . . . or with indifference or with hostility toward the people we meet, we are setting the great spider web atremble. “ — Frederick Buechner
The world is like a great spider web — minus the spider. Or rather, including the spider, as even the tiniest of creatures are card-carrying members of our silky, web-like world. This lacy, cosmic extravagance in which we all find ourselves can be explained with elaborate cosmological or scientific models, but the spider web is all we really need to stir our imagination.
As a theologian, I believe the spider web is the perfect image for understanding process theology, a spiritual path built on the idea of a web-like universe where every small gesture of kindness sets the whole world atremble. The silken threads that connect us are awash with possibility after possibility for tremors of love and beauty to ripple across the universe.
In this great web — so delicate and sensitive and made of divine materials — we find our meaning and purpose. Bathed in such a vast belonging, we move about with care, not only for ourselves, but for every filigreed corner of our intricately woven existence. This precious web, both beautiful and treacherous, needs our attention and our nurture. Most of all, it needs small gestures of kindness.
That is why, during a pandemic, we wear face masks in public. . . MORE
Fear. If you’re feeling it, you’re normal. You’re paying attention. The coronavirus is an invader that has come upon us with great speed and virulence. Like a bull in a china closet, this new invader blithely wrecks our most precious plans, blocks our ability to congregate, and stomps out normal touching and hugging. If that’s not enough, it turns to decimating our economy. This bull is on the loose. We would be crazy not to stand back and tremble.
Fear is not my favorite spiritual companion. But I have to remind myself . . . . More
“We’re happy to announce that ‘Living with Beauty,’ an e-course with Patricia Adams Farmer, begins tomorrow, February 3. This e-course explores how the experience of beauty can enlarge our souls and offer great solace and delight — even as it “lures” us into new ways of thinking, creating, and imagining a better world.” — Spirituality & Practice Team
Perfectionism is both a curse and a blessing. Mainly a curse, in my experience. But there is that inescapable reality that perfectionists grace our human landscape for a reason. It is my fervent hope that my accountant, my dentist, and any future surgeon who chooses to traverse the intricacies of my insides are all dyed-in-the-wool perfectionists. But even these folks whose work demands the utmost precision and who demand much of themselves as well as others — even these folks eventually need to come home, kick off their shoes, and quit being perfect. . . (read more)