Allow

Yesterday I wrote that the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids (Matt. 25:1-13) is not about how we prepare for what comes in the future but “is a characterization of a way of living that makes us and keeps us open and receptive to the fullness of grace – call it the kingdom of heaven or the reign of God or whatever else you choose – that is available to us in the present moment.”

Danna Faulds’s poem, “Allow,” from the book Go In and In: Poems from the Heart of Yoga (Peaceable Kingdom Books, 2002), speaks to the aspect of that availability in which we choose to let go of our known way of being and embrace something new. It brings to mind Job’s question, “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” (Job 2:10), and it challenges for me the dualism – the dividing of creation into good and evil, light and dark – that cost us our place in an original relationship with our creator (Gen. 3:1-24), or at least cost us our awareness of that relationship in which we continue to “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in —
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

 

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