Living in the Mystery

August 25,” Living in the Mystery”  Psalm 90

“Teach us to number our days so we can have a wise heart.”(90:12)

Twenty years ago I was such a wise ass, I thought I knew everything, and the reality I still know nothing.  Instead I follow the advice of Maria Rilke to “live the questions,”  to live in the mystery.

Tonight I talked to, and fed around 60 people on Polk, all older, and I have known many of them for twenty years. One was a young guy around 20 selling drugs.  He followed me and said, “You are the most different priest I have ever met, you don’t judge me for selling, using, prostituting.” And for me that was compliment–for you see I live out the questions–the questions of why he has never had the chance to make other choices, of why we live in a City where it costs so much to live,  to live in a time when money is the god that is worshiped. There is no judgment because I have been where he is and have done the same thing. All of us have committed sin, in one way or another and have no right to judge another.

Two things I have learned is to not judge, to live in the mystery of life, to love people for who they are and to let God do the rest. We live East of Eden–we live in the imperfect world.

Secondly, using the words of Dr. Will Tuttle:
“Many spiritual teachers have pointed out that when we harm others, we harm ourselves even more severely. The hard-heartedness of the killer and exploiter is in itself a terrible punishment because it is a loss of sensitivity to the beauty and sacredness of life. That loss may go unrecognized, but the life itself, armored, violent, and competitive, is lived as a struggle of separateness and underlying fear, and its relations with others are poisoned.” 

We harm others in our judgment, severely, we cripple them for life in our judgment.  We harm others in our holding on to what we have rather than sharing,  Living in the mystery is living in the love of Jesus of Nazareth who calls us to care for one another, and that is all. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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