Friday, August 24, 2012

#BlogElul Faith

Perhaps my favorite expression of what it means to struggle with faith is expressed by the Yiddish poet Aharon Zeitlin.  He writes:

"Praise Me," says God, "And I will know that you love Me."
"Curse Me," says God, "And I will know that you love Me."
"Praise Me or curse Me, and I will know that you love Me."

"Sing out My praises," says God.
"Raise your fist against me and revile," says God.
"Sing out praises or revile,
Reviling is also a kind of praise," says God.

"But if you sit fenced off in your apathy," says God,
"If you sit entrenched in, 'I don't give a hang,'" says God,
"If you look at the stars and yawn,
If you see suffering and don't cry out,
If you don't praise and you don't revile,
Then I created you in vain," says God.

Faith is being able to embrace God in the good times, but also knowing that if you curse God when times are bad, there will still be that Great and Powerful One waiting with open arms to welcome you back when you are ready to enter into relationship once again.

Shug says in The Color Purple, "I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it."  God wants people of faith to have encounters with the Divine-- good or bad, but not indifferent.

P.S. In my last post, I shared a picture of Count Von Count from Sesame Street.  Jerry Nelson, the muppeteer who originated that character and so many others, passed away yesterday.  May his memory be a blessing.

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