I was headed to my car when I’m not sure who, but someone said, "Look, the dandelions are back." Someone else replied, "Once or twice a year that field is filled with dandelions." I immediately put my groceries in my car and walked swiftly to the field.
... the dandelions became a spiritual marker to me.
Dandelions mean something to me. A field of dandelions speaks to my soul. They speak to my sense of community and faith. Today, the space between the church and community is understood to be in a cosmic tension. For my Doctorate of Ministry studies, I took a class on church and community building. In that class we learned about emergent strategies. A social-theological way to glean from nature all the elements of resurrection, emergence— hope. After that class, the dandelions became a spiritual marker to me. A marker to help me stay grounded in hope. When the shadows rise, the dandelions remind me to fight fear with hope. Have you considered the dandelion?
The book that I keep on my desk, Emergent Strategies, states this about the dandelion: “Its strength is in its resistance. It looks like a weed, and it is often aggressively removed. They are hard to uproot. The top is pulled but long taproots remain. They are a force of resilience and resistance. They regenerate and are a representation of decentralized power.”
Here at Neighborhood Seminary, we don't avoid the tension, we explore it.
That sounds like hope. Real hope is hard to kill. Real hope doesn’t demand a powerful position, it can work from the seams and the margins. In the face of opposition, real hope doesn’t shrink, it regenerates. It is reborn in a different space. It's a new beginning.
Regeneration sounds a lot like resurrection. Here at Neighborhood Seminary, we don't avoid the tension, we explore it. We name it! We bout dat gritty theology. Our aim is to cultivate a new generation of leaders and thinkers. We want to infuse them with the resilience of a dandelion and the empathy of the good Samaritan.