Friday, January 2, 2009

Blaze of straw pretends to be the moon

When I saw this 13th century poem, it reminded me of what so many clergy abuse survivors have encountered among Baptist leaders: Words of religion used as bait for abuse; words of religion used as a cover-up for abuse; words of religion used as a rationalization for doing nothing about abuse. We have encountered up-close “those who destroy… by using sacred symbols in their talk.”

We wait while Southern Baptist leaders persist in their pretending. And we watch the farce of how they love their image while sitting in “deep mud.”

But sooner or later, spring will arrive. When it does, it will bring a new kind of “justice” -- a “justice” as natural and true as whatever causes fire to “lighten and rise.”

And with that spring justice will come a new way of being -- a way not bound by the old confining constraints but instead, a way that removes restraint.

May you all find freedom in your souls. Happy New Year.

Green Writ
by Rumi, with translation by Coleman Barks

From behind a thin cloth
a blaze of straw pretends to be the moon.

There are those who destroy soul growth
by using sacred symbols in their talk.

When you fall in love with clothing,
it is like you ride a donkey
into deep mud and sit there.

Even a dog sniffs greasy bread before eating.
Have you ever seen lions
fighting over a piece of bread?
Why are you drawn to a beautiful corpse?

You are a continuous question about soul.
When the answer comes in,
the question changes,

the way a kindness in grape juice
turns it into wine, the way you
were born into this life.

Fire lightens and rises.
You bow when you hear truth.

Fall thieves the garden barren.
Then a spring justice knocks on the door.

You read the green writ
removing all restraint.

8 comments:

Thy Peace said...

When you do things from your soul,
you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section,
the feeling disappears.

Don't let others lead you. They may be blind,
or worse, vultures. Reach for the rope
of God. And what is that?

Putting aside self-will.

Because of willfulness people sit in jail.
From willfulness, the trapped birds' wings are tied.
From willfulness, the fish sizzles in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness. You've seen
a magistrate inflict visible punishment.
Now see the invisible.

If you could leave selfishness, you would see
how your soul has been tortured.

We are born and live inside black water in a well.
How could we know what an open field of sunlight is?

Don't insist on going where you think you want to go.
Ask the way to the Spring.

Your living pieces will form a harmony.

There is a moving palace that floats through the air,
with balconies and clear water running in every part of it,
infinity everywhere, yet contained under a single tent.

(Mathnawi, VI, 3487-3510)
Rumi: We Are Three : New Rumi Poems (Paperback)
by Coleman Barks (Translator)

Anonymous said...

SBC is as powerful as the Vatican with its pope in different title: president. You will not be able to make a dent against this huge monster--Baptists.

Roby

oc said...

Just an intermission....

Yep, because I'm somebodies daddy...I think I'm a somebody...
Excuse me, cause I'm kinda having a bit of a... well.. justa moment today...

Five years ago today I walked my sweet daughter down the aisle, turned around and gave her away to a most excellent young man.


Then I also had the privilege before God to perform the wedding ceremony, to give the vows and bless their marriage to the Lord.
And later I was further blessed to dance the "daughter/daddy dance".
(To "Butterfly Kisses", none the less).

So on this day, five years hence, I want to say that I am proud of their marriage. He is two-time US Army/ Iraqui vet,(yeah, he's been to Iraq for a 13 month and now a 15 month tour within their five year marriage) and she is one great baby girl, recently graduating from college from a tough Baptist university with some VERY high marks, and has decided to dedicate her life to being a teacher. Forgive me, because I am more than just proud, and I cannot help myself but to brag on this day.

Happy 5th Anniversary Darcy and Edward.

Proud dad.
oc.

oc said...

Sorry Christa.

Christa Brown said...

oc: Congratulations - you've cause to be proud. And happy 5th anniversary to Darcy & Edward!

John said...

OC,
Sharing these great moments is a blessing to you and us. Never apologize for being blessed in life.
Congrats!!

oc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oc said...

Thanks ya'll. :)