Friday, May 16, 2014


Not a number standing apart, says the sage,
But a relationship with all that is:
Like dove here calling to dove there, early morning;
Like man on motorbike hurrying to his beloved;
Like artist in cave, brushing saints to life.

Not a proud preacher, convinced
Of his own ways and creeds, 
But an old woman begging, outside his church:
Knowing only that she depends
On his generosity, and the distant
Fields that others have tended and loved.

Not a holy war on mystery
And the stranger's ancient prayers,
But jihad at last, a purifying of souls, 
A daily scrubbing clean of fear, fear, fear:
And then, only then, this good news,
That God is One, and life is one,
And all are saved in this one big love.
17 May 2014, Patmos.
With thanks to James Carroll for his book, Jerusalem, Jerusalem

"The precise meaning of the Hebrew that gives us that phrase "I AM WHO CAUSES TO BE" is in dispute, but it seems clear that this God, even while noting the plight of the sons and daughters of Israel, is associated not with a clan or a tribe or a network of tribes, but with all that is.  The oneness of this God is not a number but a relationship with what exists..."

And Carroll goes on to say: ""Jesus' embodiment of God's oneness was what his followers recognized as his divinity.  Still later, a desert merchant in Arabia, influenced by Jews and Christians, would come to an intuitive grasp of the oneness of God, recognizing in it an antidote to violent tribalism.