Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mercy of the Fallen (Dar Williams)

I saw this poem on Patty's blog a while back and, being a long-time lover of Kahlil Gibran, bookmarked it for future use - synchronistically (which is how my life usually unfolds), I used his On Children piece for a reading in church today (the sermon topic was Helping Teens in Broward's Foster Care System)...

POEM: On Religion by Kahlil Gibran

Have I spoken this day of aught else?
Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection,
but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul,
even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions,
or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying,
"This for God and this for myself;
This for my soul, and this other for my body?"
All your hours are wings that beat through space
from self to self.
He who wears his morality but as his best garment
were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics
imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshipping is a window,
to open but also to shut,
has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows
are from dawn to dawn.
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements
nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes
nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud,
outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving
His hands in trees.

QUOTE: "I have a terrible need of — shall I say the word — religion. Then I go out and paint the stars." ~ Vincent Van Gogh

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