Over and over, throughout the week, the following kept returning to me, and I am still not free of it. In case it may be of service, here it is:
Oh my people, what have I done to you? Or wherein have I wearied you? Testify against me!
I have equipped you to see my beauty and feel my presence: I teach you of myself in the beautiful and bountiful earth. I show myself also in the more intimate wonders of your bodies and your relations. You know love and compassion, and the joy of creativity, the doing and the making, the seeking and discovery.
To help you grow in wisdom, in a world that holds pain, disease, and confusion as well as all the gracious blessings of your lives, I have not ceased to teach you, in language you can hear— in the histories of liberation, in the lives of those who’ve found my light and lived in their measure. My witness has been made through a few in every age and land. My Torah and my prophets, too, I offered, and even took upon myself to live a human life, from humble birth through to shameful death, to show how low one has to come to see and accept the whole mystery of life.
You, my friends, can feel the pain of others, you yearn and work to free your sisters and brothers from fear and oppression, in order that they can share in the promises and fragile blessings of human life. I love the faithfulness you’ve been able to live, and your longing to live more.
In the stillness of my Presence, in the moment of prophetic sight, you can sense, dimly or with terrible clarity, how I, the Seed of life, am kept down in others, and how this burdened Seed is prevented from growing into a comely, fruitful plant, whose leaves are for healing and for joy.
But, Oh my friends, now you are reminded that I am also still oppressed in each of you. I am groaning within you, and striving to be freed, to have the weight taken off. You can feel it, feel me calling you again to the tenderness that comes from truth — the truth of my being, and the truth of your condition. You can see how I, Lord and servant, am oppressed and scorned in others, but my suffering and captivity in your selves dims your sight, dulls your soul’s sight, and hinders your hand from the works of compassion you long to take up passionately.
But I, the Seed Immanuel, am still singing my redemption song. If not, my Light would not have brought you once again this week to the narrow passage towards more abundant life, brought you to feel again the opening that comes by way of repentance.
You have been led to sit down by the narrow way, and your hearts are smarting with the wounds you’ve taken in the approach to it. In your weariness, though, and with a surprising hint of joy, you can see through to works of reconciliation and creaton. Feed on that joy as it comes to you, bearing fruit in its right season!
But do not cease sitting at the narrow place. Keep close always to the gate that bits and presses you to tenderness, keep it present with you, as my Rock followed Moses in Israel’s wanderings. I have told you in so many ways, this is how I live, I the suffering servant, the Lord of life. I am free and impossibly wide, but dwell also in the heart of suffering, imprisoned with all my children, and within them, even the least; even in you. Rejoice to accompany me there, in the paradox, as I never cease from accompanying you.