Sunday, May 10, 2009

Perhaps the best argument against the closet EVER

Being What God Means Us To Be
--Thomas Merton

A tree gives glory to God by being a tree.
For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God].
It 'consents,' so to speak, to [God's] creative love.

It is expressing an idea which is in God
and which is not unique from the essence of God,
and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree.

The more a tree is like itself, the more it is like God.
If it tried to be something else which it was never intended to be,
it would be less like God, and it would therefore give [God] less glory...

This particular tree will give glory to God
by spreading out its roots in the earth
and raising its branches into the air and the light
in a way that no other tree before it or after it did or will do...

The special clumsy beauty of this particular colt
on this particular April day
in this field
under these clouds
is a holiness consecrated to God by [God's] own creative wisdom
and it declares the glory of God.

The pale flowers of the dogwood outside this window are saints.
The little yellow flowers that nobody notices on the edge of that road
are saints looking up into the face of God.
This leaf has its own texture
and its own pattern of veins
and its own holy shape,
and the bass and trout
hiding in the deep pools of the river
are canonized by their beauty and their strength.

The lakes hidden among the hills are saints
and the sea too is a saint
who praises God without interruption in her majestic dance.

The great, gashed, half-naked mountain is another of God's saints.
There is no other like him.
He is alone in his own character;
nothing else in the world ever did
or ever will
imitate God in quite the same way.
That is his sanctity.

But what about you?
What about me?

Seriously. That's as close to the truth as I can get. When people suggest that I should have chosen to repress my gayness, this is the heart of my answer. Because to try to be other than what I am would be a distortion of what God created, when what's called for is a way to humbly honor God's truth in me as I understand it.

Oh, and a postscript to InVocation's concert weekend, to which I referred in my last post: it went very well. We had fun, the music was good, $ were raised for charity. It's really a gift to get to do this.

Despite the fact that yesterday, Beloved came home from tae kwon do using a cane. (I kid you not!)

I'm going to go and mow the lawn now. Continue to pray for me, please. ;-)


Peg said...

It's probably good you weren't at Forum today. Ask Pastor about what happened. I managed to keep my objection to one expressed opinion civil, but I barely avoided spontaneous combustion in the process.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is beautiful. It speaks to some things I've been working on in a different way. I'm so glad that you found this as a way to help others understand why you must be open and beautifully yourself.

FranIAm said...

Oh Choralgirl! Merton's words are awash in wisdom and truth.

And sorry about the tae kwon do cane incident, whatever it may be.

Prayers for you and Beloved. Prayers for all.

Diane said...

I loved all your thoughts; wish I could have been at the concert!

Life is too busy.... right now.

I especially loved what you said about Merton.

MaineCelt said...

Oh, yes, let us all celebrate our particular "treeness"!

There's a wonderful short story I read--I think it was in some tattered "year's best" sci-fi collection--that builds on this idea. A man devotes years to tending a gnarled, diseased tree. He uses pure musical tones--their vibrations--to heal the disease, and the now healthy tree responds to his careful attentions and becomes a beautiful, if oversized, bonsai. A woman with cancer stumbles into the story and he tends her as well... the story includes a line about love being "like two twisted trees making bonsai of each other."

There is an Asian/Buddhist concept of beauty that regards a crack in a pot or the twist in a limb as something that elevates and illuminates the beauty of the whole thing. I think the process of living into one's incarnation is the process of coming to terms with that.