Monday, May 23, 2011

Change of Worlds

I've been trying lately to phrase things more positively lately. Instead of saying "I don't know where that is because I've lived South of the River too long," I have been trying to say 'the same thing but different.'

It's amazing how changing your words can change the attitude of others to your situation.

How you express your woundedness can cause a marginalisation of the Other. We must sit among the Others, binding and unbinding our wounds one at a time.

I may already have mentioned this is someother post, but I'm going to say it again here. This is a story from the Talmud that Henri Nouwen quotes in The Wounded Healer:
Rabbi Yoshua ben Levi came upon Elijah the prophet while he was standing at the entrance of Rabbi Simeron ben Yohai's cave... He asked Elijah, "When will the Messiah come?" Elijah replied,
"Go and ask him yourself."
"Where is he?"
"Sitting at the gates of the city."
"How shall I know him?"
"He is sitting among the poor covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds at the same time andthen bind them up again. But he unbinds one at a time and binds it up again, saying to himself, 'Perhaps I shall be needed: if so I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment.'"
Here, Nouwen speaks about being a wounded, yet healing minister.
Pause and consider the story so far. Seriously, just stop for a few minutes, turn away from the screen and just think for a few minutes. Maybe grab a pen and paper and jot down some of your thoughts.

Nouwen then goes on to quote the rest of the story."

When Elijah had expalined to him how he could find the Messiah sitting among the poor at the gates of the city, Rabbi Joshua ben Levi went to the Messiah and said to him:
"Peace unto you my master and teacher."
The Messiah answered, "Peace unto you, son of Levi."
He asked, "When is the Master coming?"
"Today," he answered.
Rabbi Yoshua returned to Elijah, who asked, "What did he tell you?"
"He indeed has decieved me, for he said 'Today I am coming' and he has not come."
Wlijah said, "This is what he told you: 'Today if you would listen to His voice.'"

Oh that today you would listen to His voice!
Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
As on that day at Massah in the desert
When your ancestors tried me, though they saw My work. 


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