The Scripture of all Living Things

The Scripture of All Living Things


I spent March in the dark, in a soul cave, in the cleft of a rock, my fingers stained onyx with ink. 

“Winter is past,” the holy one said, and I lay on the cold stone of my soul and cried.

Winter. The season of scarcity. Of lifeless landscapes, of hunger and want. Of not enoughness—of warmth or love.

Outside, the turtledoves moaned and inside, I wrote my soul. I read John O'Donohue by candle fire and rubbed sandalwood oil on my skin. I wrote hard things: the longing, the grief, the shame, the confession. I wrote the heavy bones of winter. Holding. Feeling. Undoing like a worn, frayed tapestry unwoven in the dark.

All the while, doves dwelt in the winter tree, singing the sap warm and calling for love.

It echoes now...

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.” ― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

This is a call for artists.

We need awakening. We need a new beginning. We need rebirth. We need artists to show the way through times of murder and oppression. We need artists who hold the ache in their bodies to listen to the wisdom of their pain and to sculpt, weave, write, ink, photograph, dance, sing, preach, declare a new way. We need love artists, the healers of the world. Beauty artists, activists of alchemy. We need creators-of-worlds-we-long-for. Big soft shoulders to lean into and hold us as we join hands to lift the oppressed up, up, up into ravishing light. 

We need creators of feasts to offer bread and wine. We need love prophets to speak bold truths, and we need alchemists of mercy to press truth into flesh and bone, incarnate and shimmering. We need the courage to stay and feel and listen and see. We need to not turn away. We need believers to keep the faith and we need the brave to stand tall, luminescent creatures of embodied hope. We need luminous makers of love who will kneel into bloodstained ground to gather love close, to re-work the soil, nurture roots and seeds and tender living things. 

It's harrowing and it's achy, these haunting days of tenderness and grief and holy rage.

I am just one. I do not know how to change a nation. But here are things I do know: not knowing how is no reason to not do something. Humans are being oppressed. This is evil. How can I use my freedom and sensitivity to birth justice, healing and peace?

Nonviolence is the answer
to the crucial political and moral questions of our time:
the need for man to overcome oppression and violence
without resorting to oppression and violence.
Man must evolve for all human conflict
a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Loose the chains of injustice.
Set the oppressed free.
Break every yoke.


The power of love works FOR, not against. And I can work within the parameters of who I am to love...a soft-spoken artist. A writer. A sensitive soul. From behind-the-scenes I can support those on the front lines of change. I can listen and move the conversation forward. I can give my Self. It won't be good enough for some and I will be awkward and fumbly but I will keep listening and trying. I will write truth. I will be defiantly free—from political correctness, inappropriate expectations, shoulds and shame. My blood and my voice are portals and pathways for a love activism that works for Jesus, for freedom, for beauty, for the sacred lives of humanity. I can pour them out. I can raise them. I can create from them. I can do something. I will figure it out. I will figure out how to carry the bones of winter. I will figure out what I can do to create the world I long for and I know that it must start with love.

Hillary McFarland