I tell you truly, unless a wheat grain falls into earth and dies, it remains just a grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24
What keeps you awake and wondering?
Scolded by a blue jay,
brashly inserting himself into the grey morning,
I am chided out of numb amnesia.
Arrested at the crossroads by a brave soul,
I breathlessly pause to watch
her navigate puddles in an electric wheelchair.
Accosted by a rasping skein of geese,
low on the wing over the urban desert,
I look up at life that insistently breaks into my brooding.
Then, a surgical slice of sunlight
dissects the day and, without my consent,
totally and silently transfigures reality.
How many interventions does it take
to unfetter us from automatic living,
and liberate us to breathe, see, connect and care with deliberation?
Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?
In this world of divisions and subdivisions;
carved up by taxonomies of race, class, culture;
we are tempted to reinforce our stockades of self-protection.
As terror’s hot hatreds scald societies—
outside the window, over the wall, across the tracks—
anxiously we watch, worry, hope, and pray they won’t come here.
Seeking security, however tenuous,
can calcify our hearts, turning people into problems
and pains into issues always too big to handle.
Playing on our fears,
cold indifference seeps into living rooms, work places
and most especially into churches.
A heart broken and remorseful, O Holy One, you shall not spurn.
What might it mean
for folk like you and me
to wake, walk, wonder and live each golden day differently?
Much is said about ‘making a difference’,
but when motivations and manners remain the same,
nothing really seems to change.
Perhaps the invitation
of spring’s explosion
is to be made different, from the inside out.
Take away the quietness
of a clear conscience.
Press us uncomfortably.
For only thus
that other peace is made. Helder Camara
This is as much about dying
as it is about rediscovering and responding to resilient life,
in places and people once considered beyond repair.
We need to be both discomforted and inspired,
to wakefully welcome
each blessed and broken-open day.
As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun. Thomas Merton (March 18th, 1958)
Would you dare to dispel indifference
by living lightly, as you shoulder the yoke
of this day’s wonders and woes with rinsed eyes?