A confounding parable

            The reason I speak to them in parables is that
            ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen,
             nor do they understand.’

                      —Matthew 13.13

I rest the Bible in my lap.
Pick it up again, read again,
set the Bible down.
A moment. Then
I stumble through the parable
one more time.
Nothing comes.
This is not bad,
maybe even as it should be.

I go out into the woods.
I sit on an old stump and say,
“But what does this mean?”
and laugh at myself.
I sit longer, listening,
and then listening,
till at least I hear the air,
and something inside something
speaks silently to something
inside me.

Is it any different when I listen
to a neighbor?

I am learning to repent of my certainty,
to simply be mindful
that I don’t know,
to keep listening for what I haven’t heard.
To receive what is offered
without compulsion to master it,
to grasp, to understand.
Just listen and wonder.
Let the silences speak to each other.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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