Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stephen Mitchell translates a poem by the ancient Japanese poet Issa this way:

The man pulling radishes
pointed the way
with a radish.

I’m off on a retreat with a group of clergy and reminded once more that we can’t give what we don’t have.  We can’t be healers if we’re not open to being healed ourselves.  If we’re pulling radishes, we can’t point the way with a watermelon. 

In the sermon yesterday, the preacher said, “ We must let Christ serve us so that we can serve.”  The point of using a regular meditation and prayer practice is not to make us silent, withdrawn, or even holy.  It’s not to be good, obedient, or correct.  It’s to be alive.  It’s to be healed.  It’s to let Christ serve us, heal us.  And healed, we can be fully alive; joyfully, fully present in this life, this body, this call, this relationship, this world. 

No need to believe me, however.  Here’s Athanasius, a real authority:  The glory of God is the human being fully alive.

Therese DesCamp

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