A cairn is a heap or stack of stones along the path letting the hiker know he or she is still on the path. It works like a color-coded blaze on trees through the forest, except that cairn are most useful above the tree line – where there are few trees to emblazon and bedrock makes it impossible to implant a signpost – or across a creek bed, indicating where the trail fords the water.
Altars in churches and temples around the world are cairn. In the ancient world, a theophany or encounter with the holy, would be marked by an impromptu pile of rocks to let a future passersby know that there was a god of that place.
The winds of globalization are blowing through the world’s religions. Just as globalization has morphed economies large and small, rendering banking boundaries and trade barriers permeable, the hardened walls around the world’s religions are cracking. Traditional exclusivist claims by any institution of religion, proclaiming itself the sole owner of a singular truth about God, rings hollow and absurd in our time. We see instead, that every religion is a steward of spiritual wisdom, but that no religion owns the only, final, or best understanding about God, life, and love. With such an abundance, spiritual cairn along the way can let us know others have been this way before and didn’t get lost.
subversivepreacher.org is dedicated to leaving tracks and building cairn for those on a spiritual journey.
Uncovering and encountering the sacred in the ordinary – with science, art, and the imagination as resources alongside the theological and ritual traditions of historic religions – is the hope. The presumption here is that God is in our midst, able to be encountered in the mud of everyday life if our eyes and minds are open, and our other senses keen.
Whatever your spiritual practice, and whoever you practice with, remember, you are not alone. Welcome to subversivepreacher.