Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prayer is an egg

Our Senior Warden read this wonderful Rumi poem as the opening prayer at our vestry meeting tonight!

Awesome. I love Rumi, but don't remember this one.

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey



Prayer is an Egg 
 by Rumi

On Resurrection Day God will say, "What did you do with
the strength and energy

your food I gave you on earth? How did you use your eyes?
What did you make with

your five senses while they were dimming and playing out?
I gave you hands and feet

as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you,
in the health I gave,

do the plowing?" You will not be able to stand when you
hear those questions. You

will bend double, and finally acknowledge the glory. God
will say, "Lift

your head and answer the questions." Your head will rise
a little, then slump

again. "Look at me! Tell what you've done." You try,
but you fall back flat

as a snake. "I want every detail. Say!" Eventually you
will be able to get to

a sitting position. "Be plain and clear. I have given you
such gifts. What did

you do with them?" You turn to the right looking to the
prophets for help, as

though to say, I am stuck in the mud of my life. Help me
out of this! They

will answer, those kings, "The time for helping is past.
The plow stands there in

the field. You should have used it." Then you turn to
the left, where your family

is, and they will say, "Don't look at us! This conversation
is between you and your

creator." Then you pray the prayer that is the essence
of every ritual: God,

I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and
last and only refuge.

Don't do daily prayers like a bird pecking, moving its head
up and down. Prayer is an egg.

Hatch out the total helplessness inside.

-Translated by Coleman Barks

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