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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Organic Church

Organic Church

I still remember my grandma's preserved blueberries. All natural from start to finish. Every summer we'd make raids in the nearby woods and picked several liters of wild blueberries with an archaic implement called the "comb". My grandmother would then convert her kitchen into a laboratory of folklore alchemy and start turning the forest produce into jars of well canned summer memories using some esoteric stewing procedures that would probably earn her a seat on the Gingerbread House Board of Trustees. Served in long winter nights as a side dish, they always managed to evoke the sweet smell of sunlit clearings in the middle of a hot July afternoon.

But we live in fast times and people do not have time to store nutrients in such laborious and old fashioned ways. Modern food production is more like a goose-stepping parade of tin soldiers of technology. Human hand barely touches the ingredients. The line between agriculture and chemistry has become dangerously blurred. Whole industries have sprung up to bless us with genetically modified plants, multistory feeding troughs and harvesting machinery of daunting mechanics. All in the name of insatiable and growing demand.

Interestingly, religion fell victim to a similar trend. Taking care of the soul became a big business. Megachurches with high tech stereo surround systems abound. No footwork needed. Well polished Bentleys carry preachers in brazen jackets and shiny shades on their humble pilgrimage. Televangelists everywhere are raising their spiritual crops with colorful screenfuls of digital fertilizers. Even the Internet chimes in, although I find the idea of God lobbing quarters into the coin baskets of the information superhighway a bit hard to swallow.

This Christmas, I visited my aunt who lives in Janske Lazne, a small Czech town nestled in picturesque mountains near the border with Poland. In the evening we went to a mass in a simple protestant church. The interior was plain without any bombastic trappings and the same description fit the preacher's sermon. He would often struggle for words to describe our increasingly indescribable world. No prepared talking points, no fashionable sound bites, no hidden agenda. Just his plain opinions and holiday reflections served on a wooden platter, as he tried to provide his parishioners with some kind of ethical compass.

I wish all churches would return to that model. Leave the mass production to corporate world and dispense spirituality from the scratch. With less glitz, but more personal touch. Because simple heartfelt word is better for our soul than any well enunciated platitude swept off the liquid crystal teleprompter. Just like a jar of my grandma's blueberries will always be better for our body than anything Monsanto could ever come up with.

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