Only One Voice

Only one voice,
but it was singing
and the words danced and as they danced held high—
oh, with what grace!—their lustrous bowls of joy.
Even in the dark we knew they danced, but we—
none of us—touched the hem of what would happen.
Somewhere around a whirl, swirl, a pirouette,
the bowls flew and spilled,
and we were drenched, drenched to the dry bone
in our miserable night.

Only one voice,
but morning lay awake in her bed and listened,
and then was out and racing over the hills
to hear and see.
And water and light and air and the tall trees
and people, young and old, began to hum
the catchy, catchy tune.
And everyone danced, and everyone, everything,
even the last roots of the doddering oak
believed in life.

Truly Alive

Theology that is truly alive never arises outside of and apart from its situation; it does not drop straight from heaven as ‘God’s Word.’ Rather, it constitutes itself in the solidarity of those affected. I continue to understand faith as a mixture of trust and fear, hope and doubt—in the Gospels Jesus called it great or little faith—as life’s intensity, the search for the true prince and for the reign of God. A conversation, in the full sense of the word, comes into being when people share together their hunger for spirit in leaden, spiritless times. The satiated have no need to talk to each other.

Genuinely New

Each succeeding moment is fresh, is genuinely new, is not a rerun. We tend to greet every moment as a repeat of the general forms of the past, or even to assume that we are existing in the midst of a great “still,” not a moving picture at all. There is a sense in which we do not realize that we are alive. We spend our days among the dead, recording the inscriptions on the tombstones. The spiritual teachers try to break us out of this limited consciousness into a new world that they call being Awake.

What We Fail to See

As the master grew old and infirm, the disciples begged him not to die. Said the master, “If I did not go, how would you ever see?”

“What is it we fail to see when you are with us?” they asked. But the master would not say. When the moment of his death was near, they said, “What is it we will see when you are gone?”

With a twinkle in his eye, the master said, “All I did was sit on the riverbank handing out river water. After I’m gone, I trust you will notice the river.”

From Different Lands

[In the community] we talk about how God has brought us together. I love to hear each one talking about where he or she was before coming to our community…and then there is a consciousness that now we are together. A few years ago we were dispersed; we did not know each other. Now we are together; we belong to each other. We realize what an incredible gift God has given us, to bring us together from different lands of pain and loneliness, and to become one people. We become more conscious that we are responsible for each other.