Was Es Ist

It is nonsense
says reason
It is what it is
says love
It is calamity
says calculation
It is nothing but pain
says fear
It is hopeless
says insight
It is what it is
says love
It is ludicrous
says pride
It is foolish
says caution
It is impossible
says experience
It is what it is
says love

Love is Labor

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in the sight of all. Men will give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on the stage. But active love is labor and fortitude, and for some people too, perhaps, a complete science.

What We See

One July afternoon at our ranch in the Canadian Rockies I rode toward Helen Keller’s cabin…. [I saw] this woman, who was doomed to live forever in a black and silent prison, make her way briskly down the path, her face radiant. She stepped out of the woods into a sunlit open space directly in front of me and stopped by a clump of wolf willows. Gathering a handful, she breathed their strange fragrance: her sightless eyes looked up squarely into the sun, and her lips, so magically trained, pronounced the single word ‘Beautiful!’ Then, still smiling, she walked past me.

To me none of this exquisite highland had seemed beautiful…. I had eyes to see all the wonders of woods, sky and mountains, ears to hear the rushing stream and the song of the wind in the treetops. It took the sightless eyes and sealed ears of this extraordinary woman to show me beauty and bravery.

Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability—literally, the ability to be wounded—is a kind of self-giving in love that makes possible coming to a new place, a new state of existence. Vulnerability is not about masochism, or a desire to draw attention to oneself or to be pitied. Vulnerability is a capacity so to trust that one runs the risk of wounds. It does not make wounds desirable, nor does it make them less painful. One is willing to run the risk of wounds because of something more important: the communion of love that engenders trust, that makes the fresh start of forgiveness possible.

Divine Dissatisfaction

Let us go out with a divine dissatisfaction.
Let us be dissatisfied
until America will no longer have
a high blood pressure of creeds
and an anemia of deeds.
Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls
that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort
and the inner city of poverty and despair
shall be crushed by the battering rams
of the forces of justice. Let us be dissatisfied
until those that live on the outskirts of hope
are brought into the metropolis of daily security.
Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast
into the junk heaps of history,
and every family is living
in a decent sanitary home.
Let us be dissatisfied
until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools
will be transformed into bright tomorrows
of quality, integrated education.
Let us be dissatisfied until integration
is not seen as a problem
but as an opportunity to participate
in the beauty of diversity.
Let us be dissatisfied until men and women,
however black they may be, will be judged
on the basis of the content of their character
and not on the basis of the color of their skin.
Let us be dissatisfied.

Let us be dissatisfied until every state capitol
houses a governor who will do justly, who will love
mercy and who will walk humbly with his God.
Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall,
justice will roll down like waters and righteousness
like a mighty stream. Let us be dissatisfied
until that day when the lion and the lamb
shall lie down together, and every man
will sit under his own vine and fig tree
and none shall be afraid. Let us be dissatisfied.

Let us be dissatisfied until that day
when nobody will shout White Power!
—when nobody will shout Black Power!—
but everybody will talk about
God’s power and human power.

The road ahead will not always be smooth.
There will be still rocky places of frustration
and meandering points of bewilderment.
There will be inevitable setbacks here and there.
There will be those moments
when the buoyancy of hope will be transformed
into the fatigue of despair. Our dreams
will sometimes be shattered and our ethereal hopes blasted.

Difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on
in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.