Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mixture Meditation

A retired friend took this photo on one of many Winnebago trips with his wife. The scene, a mixture of fertility and barrenness, perhaps suggests the way life can be - a mixture positive and negative elements. After meditating on this aspect of our shared human experience, what i wrote in my prayer journal appears below. I wonder what your perception might be regarding life's mix of beauty and ugliness, of good and evil.

it is not enough to meditate on beauty
for there is ugliness in the mix
or behind the scenes

turn over the portrait of a flower art crafted
of colored string and thread and ribbon
and you will see chaotic knots and random criss-crossings

visit the neatly dressed and well-mannered family
who fit perfectly on a magazine cover
in the home at secret times where and when
there is domestic violence or child abuse

learn to look through a person's eyes
into the truth harboring soul
and be not distracted by smile or charming words
so as to recognize evil for what it is

not every place in the world is safe
from invasion, kidnapping, torture and careless death
trust people who have seen the worst
and still give witness to the best
they are sparks of life in the divine fire

in a society of packaging for promotion
angling for advantage and snaring for sales
there are instances both of service and of greed
there are examples of real ministry and abusive power
there are champions of generous giving and of greedy taking

both beauty and ugliness are in the mix
in which wisdom perceives behind the scenes
and knows that meditation itself is not enough

Our prayer might begin as does Psalm 43:
Defend me, O God, and plead my cause against a godless nation.
From deceitful and cunning men rescue me, O God.

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