Can I sit
attentive to the voice of many waters and yet move, serve, respond? Can I act, responsive to a world of burning rubble and yet listen, stop and breathe? Full of many things, I forget to choose the better part. Caught in mindless bustle, I catch eternity in the friction that grinds to a hault. O bless the failure that drives me kneeward. Bless the gravel that stirs up my knees to stretch and rise.
My brother's face is not my face;
His eyes see things mine do not see, And when I try to take his place I'm stuck in his alterity. I do not know what he has known. I do not think his thoughts with him. His father is my father. Though He is not me, he is my kin. Each other face I daily see, Each gaze that pierces into pride, Each face is still a mystery, A space I cannot climb inside. And yet I must begin each day Before my brother's other face, And hear my unknown sister say, "Thou shalt not kill" with silent gaze. And I must stand before a One Who is not seen, with unseen face, And yet is like all-knowing Sun And stands in hated Stranger's place.
Love, sensing Self flex muscles,
Circumvents the question, takes a detour Along a Jericho road, A thoroughfare often taken, seldom observed. Love stretches the story out, Beyond expectation, beyond our trust, Defeats its stock of righteous men, Then surprises with a foe. Love befriends the enemy, Gives face and heart to the hated one. Love helps us up the donkey's back, Carries us safe, far from home. Love takes flexed muscles, unflexes them, Unwinds Self's tautly wrought syntax. Wrong question, Love says. True question is: Whose neighbour am I?
Van Gogh, The Good Samaritan
If words fail, being only breath,
Look to the one who was himself The Word, though many said not. Look to the one whose last Breath, crushed by Satan's Knee, was "Forgive." Look to Him And keep Faith.