On compassion.

Jesus tells us we are to love our enemies. Let us take that as far as it will go. Everyone and everything is created by God. Everyone and everything is our neighbor. While it is easy to love the nice people, it is very hard to love the mean ones – but Jesus tells us they are exactly the ones we must be nice to.

They are the ones who need it the most.

So what about insects? Why do we consider a butterfly beautiful but a beetle creepy? Why do we celebrate one and crush the other?

Are you ready to love a wasp, or a roach, or a spider?

Are you ready to see them as created by the same Creator that made fireflies and lightning bugs?

Stay with this a moment. Breathe it in.

Then go further, and yet back.

Are you willing to be loving and gentle with the person who is attacking you or your friend? Are you willing to show mercy to the bigot, the racist, the homophobe?

Are you in a place in your head where you can love them for who they are, right now?

Do you have a space in your heart where you can see them as being the way God made them because He needs them this way, right now?

How about your own thoughts, your own bad habits? Are you able to love them, and see them as teachers?

How about your inability to get up early enough to go exercise? Your habit of spending all you make? Your love of greasy, fatty food? Your need to control others? Your need to be right?

Everything is a teacher. Everything is a gift, a guest in this house that is your soul, your life.

Compassion is a way of living, a way of loving. It is honoring each being, right where they are. It is seeing the beauty hidden behind all the walls, the veils, the shields that we all put up to prevent ourselves from being whole.

It is seeing the lotus growing out of the muck. It is knowing it is there, even if you can’t see it. It is about the potential. And it is about the present.

Our defenses keep us safe, we think. They keep us from having to get too close to ourselves and seeing ourselves in each other.

We are called to communion, to a union-with. We are called to wholeness. This is within ourselves, with every person, with every created being, and with God, the Creator of all.

On keys, and doors

I am mesmerized by keys.

I collect antique keys and make them into necklaces. I love the look and feel of old metal keys. I imagine their history. Who used them? How many people have owned the thing that this key unlocks? How many hands have touched these keys?

This tiny bit of metal is all that is required to open up this huge door, this wall that is standing before me like a bouncer at a club, saying None May Pass. This tiny thing is all I require to gain access to my heart’s desire.

Perhaps this fondness comes from Alice in Wonderland. Everything got a little strange when she fell down that rabbit hole – but to me the first really strange part was when she encountered that tiny door behind the curtain.

She had the key, but she couldn’t figure out the right sequence to use the door.

I like keys like this, and stories like this. I like real keys and imaginary keys. I like what keys represent.

I have a TARDIS key. You know, just in case. Just in case time and space travel is real, I’m ready if Doctor Who just happens to leave that beautiful, mad, blue box parked along my walking path that day. It is good to be prepared.

I have a key to a phone booth. I have a key to a piano. I have a key to a Ford that was driven long before I could even say the word “automobile”.

These keys are beautiful and poetic and sad. They are missing their locks. They are missing their purpose.

But I keep them anyway. You never know.

They are kind of a focus, a meditation tool. Always be prepared. Notice that it is a small thing that opens a large thing.

What doors are in front of me? What is barring my way? What have I not even noticed is a door, that is preventing me from getting where I need to be?

If you have a key, you’ll be reminded of the door. One points towards the other.

Poem – Key

It is better to have a key and no door
than a door and no key.

The door, locked, will afford no entry,
no progress towards your goal.
Save for a bit of metal, this wall of wood
is all that stands between you
and happiness.

But a key and no door?
You’re in luck!
Nothing is barred.
Your way is clear.
The path stretches out before you
like a full day off with nothing on the agenda.

Everything is open.

But just
in case
a door
quietly slinks up
in front of your very eyes

You have a key, already

to do the trick.