Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WHEN WE REJECT STRANGENESS

I wonder if we sin when we reject
what we cannot understand
simply because we cannot
understand it?
Does it take more time than
we are willing now to commit?
Does it not fit our fixed grid of
how we sift and size the world?

I wonder if we sin by dismissing
what is complex
simply because it is
complex?
Have we become so addicted
to sound-byte living
that we can hardly endure
an explanation of more than
a moment’s earful?

What is beyond us--
beyond our frame of reference,
beyond our sphere of awareness--
is not necessarily, therefore,
of the world or
of the devil,
or of little consequence.

Is it not enough to say,
without belying our ignorance
or defending our pride,
it is just beyond us?

I wonder if we sin when we reject
the stranger outright
or make no room for him
in our lock-tight schedules
and locked-up living?
But is she not the Biblical
bearer of truths and graces
without which we cannot
know direction or blessing?

Perhaps strangeness,
presented as a person or
confronted as a dilemma or
experienced as the inexplicable,
when entertained hospitably,
when considered thoughtfully,
when listened to thoroughly,
bears gifts which give wing to
nothing less than
grace.

Forgive, O God, my rejection of so much strangeness, so much complexity, so much of which I do not understand. Give me grace to listen well, to seek to understand, to offer the hospitality which these days invite. Let me not miss the grace for the strangeness. And lead me formatively and confidently in the new paths of grace which each threshold opens. Amen.

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