light shards and wounds

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

When we are wounded in life, we feel pierced, cut, hurt.  We may bleed if we are physically wounded and if our wound is relational like betrayal,manipulation, the dissolution of a friendship or marriage, then the wound is a cut to the safety we want to feel on the planet.  It is easy to wonder what God does when we are hurt.  I think God shines light from God’s wounds into ours much the way a lamp shines light into the corners of a dark room.  So one might honestly wonder if our wounds let the light in and if God’s lets it out.

One of my favorite things to do is to wander the streets of a city new to me.  I have wandered many over the face of this small blue-green planet but I will say that few cities rise to the occasion like Marrakech!  Without my ability to smell or taste, my eyes take over, darting everywhere, trying to fill in the gaps.

One of the great crafts of this city is metal works.  They are well known for hammering the cut designs from metal so that light shines through casting geometric patters on the walls around the room.  I spent time today in the metal worker’s district, loud with its ringing hammers and sizzling sparks flying in great arks across the rooms.  Their stalls sparkled with lamps like these.

They recalled to mind the Trinity, and I wondered if, as a Christian, I carried the scent of the crusades with me as I walked these streets – streets full of people who consider me an infidel. But they also recalled to mind the three monotheistic religions hanging as they do in their similarities and their differences but all shedding light.

I noticed something as I walked.  Every few feet a shop-keeper will ask me if I would like to see his shop, perhaps buy something. If I decline in French, they struggle a bit to try to get me inside but with a smile.  If, however, I decline while reaching out to touch their arm or shoulder, they smile and let me go.  I say “Shukran” or “Thank you” in Arabic and they reply “Insha-allah” which means “God-willing” implying that we might meet again. The exchange warms me.

Jews see their God whose essence shimmers light from within.  Muslims see their God whose essence shimmers light from within. We Christians see our God whose essence shimmers light from within.  Our writings are different.  Our customs are different.  Even our liturgical practices are different.  But are we so sure that our God’s are different?

God’s light shines through the cuts.  And ironically, it is into our cuts that the light shines.

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