“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” Rumi
My friend Yummy (bet you guessed this isn’t his real name) popped by for a visit this weekend. Yummy and I first met many years ago when we were both involved in the same play. He was an actor and I was a costumer. Sizing him up, literally, I was whipping my trusty tape measure around his various parts. Chest, waist, hips, head, neck, sleeve length… I had finished up and Yummy still stood there expectantly.
“Don’t you need my inseam?” he asked, guilelessly.
“No. Sorry to disappoint.” My smart-assery has a mind of it’s own and sometimes these things just fall out of my mouth. Luckily he laughed loudly and at that moment our bond was formed.
After he left the fitting room, Janice explained to me that Yummy is the Reverend at our local Anglican Church.
No no no! A man of the cloth and I make jokes about his enjoyment of having his inseam fondled?
“Excuse me, Janice. Could you lend me a hand? I seem to have something lodged here in my mouth. Oh wait, it’s my foot.”
That moment, while a bit fluster-inducing at the time, was serendipitous. Had I known in advance that Yummy was a minister I would have treated him in a completely different way, maybe bowing, calling him “your eminence” and trying not to make eye contact. Meanwhile I would have been nervously guarding the real me for fear of incurring wrath, judgment or whatever the 21st century equivalent of burning at the stake might be. Preconceived ideas are a bitch, aren’t they?
Instead I accidentally let my true self shine through and being received with humor and acceptance allowed me to trust this man, despite his cloth. Our friendship has grown and blossomed over time and even though I was away for 3 years and we didn’t have any communication at all, Saturday when he walked up onto my sunny front porch and sat across from me in the rocker, our conversation picked up like no time had passed at all.
I complimented him on his column. He writes for the Daily Townsman here in Cranbrook, and I have often found myself shouting out loud while reading his teachings “YES! EXACTLY! THAT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SAY!” His Christian teachings are progressive, all inclusive and centered in love. If you ever wonder what Jesus would do, you could simply watch Yummy and you’d get a pretty good example.
During our conversation I was explaining (okay, complaining might be a better word here) how I feel like the Christian churches have stolen Jesus for themselves and how it pisses me off that such an amazing teacher could be used to create divisions and exclusivity. I then paraphrased the Hindu saying I picked up on the wide wide world of web somewhere:
There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only ones wasting time are the ones who runs around and around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong.
Surprised, Yummy asked me where I had heard that saying, then went on to explain that he uses the same saying in his teachings quite often. But, Yummy takes it further. (this is awesome… you’re going to love this…)
Yummy explained that at the base of the mountain our paths are so far apart we can barely see each other, if at all. But as we climb that mountain the paths get closer and closer until, when we reach the top we are close enough to embrace.
It is so beautiful I want to cry!
And the dogma pushers, the judgers, the fundamentalists? He simply says “God Bless You” and leaves them to their path. This is a page I will most definitely take from his book. Because who am I to judge what stones make up their path? If they need to believe that I am wrong in order to feel they are right, then God bless them. If they trip on those stones, then I wish them a gentle landing. I know I have tripped plenty on my own path. I mean, really, aren’t I just as guilty of judging them for judging me?
And when we meet at the top of the mountain I bet we hug each other and laugh about the crazy journeys we’ve taken and all of the trips and falls along the way. Until then, I send love to ease their path so that whatever their journey, it will be smooth.