Sunday, October 13, 2013

Poetic Thoughts on the Spiritual Journey...

religion?
Re-ligiare, that early Latin word
from which "religion" and "religious"
come, meant- in those early Latin days-
    to re-connect, to re-member
        what has been dis-membered...
    to return to our deepest, truest selves,
        remembering what we already know.
How, then, has religion become
something which divides,
                which dis-members
                    the family of humanity,
                 pitting sister against sister,
                 brother against brother,
                 tribe against tribe, until even
                 heaven has its teeth set on edge by the
                 cacophony of warring certainties,
                     each competing for the hearts & souls
                     of humankind...
                     each certain that its answers
                     are THE answers...
                 while angels weep and
                 all creation bears the battle scars
                 of humans run amok,
                 and the loving, reconciling voice
                 of the Divine One
                     goes unheard.

 in whose image?
The supreme religions struggle is to see God's image in the one who is
not in our image. -Rabbi Jonathan Sachs
 
Imagine...the Hebrew bible commands us-
in more than thirty places- to love and
welcome the stranger, for each and all of us
have been a stranger...somewhere, at some time...
and in the stranger, we can see the face of God,
welcome angels unaware.
 
But far too often- if honestly prevails-
the only god we can see is the one made
in our image...the one who looks like us
and acts the way we think God should...
and if God is indeed only the way I see
divinity, the way you see holiness, then we
can- with smug & self-righteous justification-
deny the image of God in those unlike us,
in our enemies.
 
Easier by far to "worship" God than
to love our neighbor (let alone our enemy)...
to see the person right in front of us as
the unique, beautiful Child of God
she is...to stand in awe of the unsolved
mystery of his life...to see them not
just as characters in my own story
but as people in their own right...as
holy places wherein dwells the Spirit of God.
 
Simpler, far, to hallow the Wholly Holy
than to recognize...admit...acknowledge
that every encounter with every person
is holy...that every encounter with every
person takes place on holy ground- and
in deep humility, take off our shoes in wonder & awe.


faith's road
Having faith does not mean
having answers...though it is indeed
far more comfortable to live with
certainty than to dwell in
ambiguity.
But life's road is paved with questions
and mystery lurks just off each
beaten path, and though it is said that
the road to hell is paved with
good intentions, I doubt if the stairway
to heaven is built on narrow-minded
opinions.

reading the bible
It is not in the book
but in the being
that we find spiritual truth...
and yet the scriptures are
revered
elevated to a holy place
words cherry-picked and
                            chosen,
used as weapons and as warnings,
not as wisdom and welcome...
words quoted, cited, spoken with a towering authority-
      and all the while,
      the very ones who claim the words
      promote fear and hate, exclusion, war...
      while words of love, acceptance and forgiveness
      get lost somewhere...
and the One called God
       the One called Love
       the One Creator of us all
                gets pushed aside and
                the Book takes center stage...
as we forget to LIVE the message
                    to BE the truth
                    to co-create a world of love
                    to worship with our daily lives...
  

ass/u/me
Why do we so often assume
that people of faith never experience
      brokenness?
      discouragement?
      despair?
Why do we do often assume,
even in this modern age,
      that illness & misfortune are
      signs of lack of faith?
Why do we so often assume
that there are simple, straightforward
      answers to life's complex questions?
Why do we so often assume
that a great divide exists between
      what is sacred and what is secular?
                      and
Why do we so often assume
that we, we alone, know the
      mind and will of God for
      humankind?
I mean, isn't it dangerous
                      to ASS/U/ME?

meditation in silence
sacred spaces-
the rests between the notes
singing the melody of life...
open places-
clarity of heart and mind
inviting dreams and visions
of good and God...
daily paces-
the steps which make the journey
through the day...
holy graces-
touched by compassion, both human
and divine- and the only response
possible is
           thanks.

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