In “Land Art,” environmental artist, Andy Goldsworthy, partners with Waldemar Januszczak to listen, observe, and “engage with the context” as they walk along the Scottish borders. Their goal is to bring forth something new from that which already exists.Goldsworthy enters the landscape, reflective and fully present, he notices a “huge, heavy sense of death and decay” in that area. As the dead trees and branches fall into the river’s waters, waterfalls and creative spaces form. Mangled branches provide the foundation where other branches can be stuffed and manipulated. Small curved branches are collected, and intuition fuels the movement of the artist’s hands. In the icy-cold flowing waters, Goldsworthy climbs over logs, then stands in the fullness of nature’s flow, carefully listening to how the land might whisper beauty amongst consistent change and decay. In such landscape, what exists is forced to submit to the transformative forces of rain, wind, snow, and sun. In doing so, the tension of paradox is felt as renewed existence emerges. Upon the film’s completion, Goldsworthy and Januszczak fashioned a magically suspended orb of wood in the midst of cascading winter waters. From death, wonder is birthed.
Upon leaving my community of faith three years ago, I entered a barren wilderness. Death and decay surrounded me as life giving practices and beliefs I once trusted as true fell by the wayside. Still, a Divine invitation was extended, one very similar to the Goldsworthy documentary noted above. In the vast wilderness space, I was invited to be still, to stop doing, and to stop knowing. As a ministry leader from an evangelical context, not doing or not knowing created an extremely uncomfortable existence. Busyness, certainty, and identity, the gold standard of evangelical Christianity, have been broken down as environmental factors waged transformation upon and within me. Initially, I resisted and consistently fought the process. Overtime though, I grew tired and weary of the fight.
Currently, I am in a place of settled noticing. On a good day, I recognize it as a place of contentment. I’m attentive to the landscape, allowing it to reveal what wants or needs to be created, mourned, or celebrated. In this posture of presence, I am witnessing my smallness and inadequacies, in short, my humanity. Such traits are contrary to those prized by secular and sacred leaders alike, where confidence, expertise, achievement, and status determine success, both personally and organizationally.
The more I abide in this space, I become increasingly more comfortable with walking by faith, rather than sight. As sight diminishes, other senses heighten. For me, listening is most noticeable, and often is experienced through deafening silence. Only through such silence am I able to truly hear the whisper of my Beloved calling me to awaken to newly forged life amongst the surroundings of death and decay. How I lead out of this experience is yet to be determined, but I pray it resembles Andy Goldsworthy’s creation forged amongst this dying landscape, a wonder to behold.
 Diana Renner and Steven D’Souza. Not Doing: The Art of Effortless Action. (London, UK: LID Publishing Limited, 2018) 19.
 Ibid., minute 3:16.
 Ibid., minute 5:50.
 Diana Renner and Steven D’Souza. Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity. (London, UK: LID Publishing Limited, 2016) 38-39.