Tuesday, January 29, 2008

i see myself in you

there's a great song by my friend and journeyer-at-large poet/singer/songwriter tom kimmel and his co-writer, also a great friend and journeyer-at-large tom prasada-rao, called "see myself in you." i was thinking about that song yesterday. part of the lyrics say:

If I met you, on the corner,
Would I know you, as you are?
Would I take you, for a stranger,
And brush past you in the door?
If you called me, would I hear you,
Or would I walk away too soon?
If I lingered for a moment,
Would I see myself in you?

i was talking to bob, a friend and journeyer, who was telling me about an insight he'd had a few weeks ago in worship gathering. the topic was confession - and the idea that the greek word for confession can be translated as "speak with" or "speak the same as." when we confess, it's not a list of all the horrible things we've done that we're begging god not to burn our asses for - it's a way of saying to god or to a friend, Okay, here's me. all of where i am and what i'm learning and what i'm struggling with. how i've ended up in the ditch. what i'm joyful about. whatever.
when i do that, i feel myself opening up to the work god wants to do in me, rather than hiding.
bob said yesterday that he saw something in that worship gathering. if god is in all of us, and if god is speaking in and through all things and all of what god is doing, then when we look at each other, and talk to each other, and listen to each other, we're seeing and speaking to and hearing from ... god.

when i look into your eyes, i see god.
when i listen to you speak, i hear god.

the trick is, will i listen? or will i see you as just some other human being, or an annoyance, or some blob of protoplasm, or someone in my way in traffic?
or, will i see god in you? will i see god-in-myself in you?
i'm asking god - and you - and god-within-me - for awareness and openness in that today.


Anonymous said...

There is something very powerful here, mi amigo.

Desmond Tutu talks a TON about this in the context of South Africa:

Ubuntu is a concept that we have in our Bantu languages at home. Ubuntu is the essence of being a person. It means that we are people through other people. We cannot be fully human alone. We are made for interdependence, we are made for family. When you have ubuntu, you embrace others. You are generous, compassionate. If the world had more ubuntu, we would not have war. We would not have this huge gap between the rich and the poor. You are rich so that you can make up what is lacking for others. You are powerful so that you can help the weak, just as a mother or father helps their children. This is God's dream.

Rick Diamond said...

amen. this is absolutely god's dream.
it reminds me of the "namaste" - not as a cute buzzword at yoga class, but as the real thing - "i acknowledge the Divine within you" and all beings. to see each person as The Image Of God ? that's where the power is - not just in community, but the power to heal the sickness of 20th and 21st century america: alienation and loneliness and despair in the midst of plenty.

Melinda Hasting said...

Dude(s)! I was just talking about this with some friends tonight. We were talking about how sometimes your "dark past" can become your greatest possession. Inevitably, the more I share of myself (not listing the reams of bad shit I've done, but letting you see the whole me) the more a deep connection can exist because we're giving permission to others to do the same.

It's something that words can't wrap themselves around. We can look each other in the eyes and not feel uncomfortable anymore.

Rick Diamond said...

absofreakinlutely. it's hard to find people with whom we can be that vulnerable - but i'm finding that with a little step and then another little step, i'm not so attached to whether they get me or not. and then i'm free.

Melinda Hasting said...

Ah- that's good: "not being attached to whether they get me or not."

The editor gets turned down, but you select the audience more carefully?