We have mistranslated the call to a Holy War. The warfare of the Islamic nations today, the warfare of Christians in the crusades, the warfare of the rhetoric in our political debates are all a warfare of “other,” a fight against “other” by a people who have lost their way in the forest of distractions and noise – of emails and appointments, of media and money.
Those people who disagree with me and my tribe. Those people whose creed is different and so therefore wrong. Those people who are lazy and not rich like me. Those people whose worship is different and so therefore wrong. Those people who use a salad fork when clearly an entre fork is required – those people who recklessly use a teaspoon or a soup spoon or a table spoon when clearly it is a bouillon spoon which should be employed for broth.
I wonder what our Christian faith would look like if we danced and whirled like the whirling dervishes of Rumi’s day.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and right-doing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
What would it be like to whirl and spin and scream in our life or our prayer or our worship? What if we did not judge each other for how we pray, how we worship, how we think? What if we were able to let go and whirl and whirl and whirl around in ecstasy, our heads swimming in icons- faces beaming love to us – and in love of the Divine One inside us whose face we see who we sleep? What if we were to let go of our staid reserve, letting go of our egos which have become our new Pharaoh – the new slave-driver, the new master? What if church were less spectacle and more dance, less elegant and more messy? What if our mission were not to have lovely Sunday morning experiences but rather to heal the world and tame our own egos in the process; but together?
What if our relationship with our God were less a matter of bowing and scrapping and more a matter of whirling and embrace? And if that, then what, today, in you and in me, would that whirling look like? What would it look like to give myself away? What would t look like to give my money away? What would it look like to reject my ego and, with free, open hands, take God’s cheeks in my warm, moist hands and kiss God, right on the lips?
“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”