Today I arrived in Accra, Ghana, for a pilgrimage with Episcopal Relief and Development. “Episcopal Relief and Development,” or ERD, is the international relief and development agency of The Episcopal Church; it describes itself as “the compassionate response of the Episcopal Church to human suffering in the world.” They –we—do great service in many places, and I will be privileged to experience some of that ministry here in Ghana.
It is also a privilege for me to take the notion of “pilgrimage” seriously. The word “pilgrimage” has been defined in many good ways; but, for me, a pilgrimage is a journey towards God.
All of us, I hope, are on some sort of pilgrimage towards God, whatever we are doing in life. However, from time to time, it benefits us to be more intentional about making a physical journey to a place, or to a people, where we might sense God more clearly. Indeed, we might see God.
I have been on different intentional pilgrimages in my overall life pilgrimage. And I have learned at least two things about my seeing something of God. For one, the more I see of God, the more I don’t see. The more I learn, the more I realize what I do not know.
Secondly, the more I see of God, the more I want to see of God. That is, my fascination with the Holy draws me into more desire for the Holy.
Thus, I want to see God in Ghana, and in the people of Ghana. I will learn something of God’s presence in these people. I also want to see God in my fellow pilgrims; it was a delight to greet old friends and familiar pilgrims today, and I also met new pilgrims. Maybe I will see God even in myself, and in what I can offer the common pilgrimage of humanity.
To sleep now. We leave the hotel at 4:15 in the morning, for an early flight to Tamale and Bolgatanga!