“‘Work makes free’ — the sign over the gate of Auschwitz — tells with grim satisfaction, the awful literal truth: ‘Here we work people to death.'” In his book on the vocation of writing, Thomas Merton observes that in so-called family or resettlement camps death was the only freedom. The joys of honest labor and straight talk were perverted.

Psychologist M. Scott Peck defined love as a form of work — giving someone our attention, caring for someone, attending to their growth, extending ourselves (and thus growing in spirit ourselves as well). “Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much” (Genesis 29:20). Working for love of spouse or family is a huge motivator.

Working for love of God out of our love-purposed, Spirit-breathed life force is our prime impetus. Young children, athletes and artists know: the best work is play; the best play is work.

Grandson Seren started long before his second birthday, delighting in turning pages of books, depositing tiny pieces of litter in trash cans, opening the door for the meowing cat. During my recent visit Seren developed a joyous routine digging up soil from a large raised planter, balancing clumps of it on a stick, carrying it to a nearby step where he shook it off, grabbed his broom and swept it off the step. Every day I was treated to several repeat performances, even after the stick broke in half.

I’m very much looking forward to “Dancing the Psalms,” a workshop in Fredericksburg VA on July 30 —  a great day of body/spirit, work/play. SacredDanceFlyerJuly_30_2011

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