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IF

If my bare feet were covered by the mud in the field,
Would I begin to know how a farmer labors to grow grain?

If my fingers touched the bark of an old tree,
Can I see the past and those who stood beneath it in the rain?

If I tasted the salt in water in the sea,
Can I trace the paths in the mountain where it rolled?

If I felt the breeze dance around and about me,
Can I feel how it raised the eagle so it could soar?

If looked deep and long into a woman’s eyes,
Will I feel the depth of her joy or pain?

If I felt the stabbing hunger in the core of my being,
Can I ever allow a child to go hungry again?

If I have known fear at the face of death,
Can I allow violence and destruction to touch the innocent?

If I have been saved by a merciful stranger
Will I not show kindness to a sinner who repents?

If I truly believe in the God of peace and justice,
Should I be silent in the face of war and greed?

If I have been nurtured with love and kindness,
Can I turn away from my own people who are in need?

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1 thought on “IF”

  1. My dear friend,

    You have plunged right into the heart of the evolutionary process where every particular entity is related to the whole but in such a way as to be impossible of specific determination. Every entity develops spontaneously but within a context of destiny which are laws that lure developing entities into prescribed forms—thus blow bubbles in the air and they form themselves into spheres. In some religions this idea gets deeply embedded as in reincarnation, karma, and Christianity’s idea of reward and punishment, but tempered by faith, mercy and love.

    So we float within the universe where God’s presence isn’t visible to the naked eye or scientific instruments that are used for tracking the tiniest of entities or understanding the biggest ones, but are felt by and perceptible only to the eyes of faith which Rudolf Otto calls the “mysterium tremendous,” and the “mysterium fascinosum.” by which we perceive the inter-related of all things. God cannot be entirely blamed for all things that happen, but He/She is justifiable responsible for all things that happen. Our faith tells us that God responds to every event in the universe — in the belief that God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent — but He/She does so in the way of mercy and love. So touch a tree and you are in touch with what has taken place in the life of that tree that stretches back eons and eons of years back, and you become an instrument in determining its future. You cannot be judged for what happened in the tree’s past nor for its life in the future for your participation in its life is minimal, but your life gets deeply immersed in what happens to it whether you like it or not.

    Our responsibility rises directly proportional to what happens in Creation as the entities involved become sentient beings — like us humans — so a child that goes hungry becomes a heavy burden on our soul. I think you have articulated a profound truth in human existence, its joyful yet also tragic thrownness in everything that is, and reflects the Psalmist insight of “deep calling unto deep” as you feel the pain and agony of fellow human beings by the inhumanity of a great number of their fellow beings, and we are caught up in that.

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