I’d Like to See with the Eyes of the Holy
I’d like to see with the eyes of the Holy,
To witness the whole tapestry of ancestors,
Their angels and demons,
Through the eyes of God.
Then, maybe, I’d understand
Their whys and oughts and shoulds.
I’d see their captivity to old wounds
I’d love them for their ugliness as for their beauty.
I’d see a procession
From the beginning, extending to now
And to the great-great grandchildren
Of the lame and the crippled,
Addicts and those who ran from reality,
The abused and the abusers.
I’d look into the eyes of the great-souled ones,
The workers, the mothers
The warriors and healers,
The fighters for freedom,
The humble righteous, the kind and
Maybe I’d know how they were all
Enclosed and Included into God’s great heart
Simply as they were,
“Warts and all”.
The Sadducees are the One-Percenters, establishment people. They, as many in the church, are charged with protecting the institution and the hegemony of an all male establishment. Sound familiar? The contest they put before Jesus is laughable. The Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection. So they put a riddle to Jesus hoping to catch him. Tradition said that if a husband died, the widow of that man would become the responsibility of the next brother on down the line. “To which one”, they challenge Jesus, “will she be married in the resurrection?”
Jesus is not tied to protect the establishment. His focus is on the Great and generous heart of God. The Sadducees and their riddles work from a system in which widows are protected by being “given” in marriage to the next surviving brother in the family. There was a certain security for the widow and the orphan in this situation. And yet women were still seen as property.
Jesus as usual turns the debate on its head and argues that in the life to come women will not be “given” in marriage. There will be no ownership because we are all, both the living and the dead, “possessions” of God.
That’s what struck me from the reading: “All are alive, the living and the dead, are all alive in God.” What a way to see life and death, as a continuum. We know what it is like to live with the ghosts of the ancestors. Families and political systems live the legacy of their gifts and their weaknesses, their good will and their wickedness. Now, Jesus seems to me to be saying is that we all, living and dead, live within the circle of God’s compassion and mercy. Here in this realm, forgiveness abounds, giving and owning do not exist, because we are all connected to the great heart of God and to the Holy. There is no slave or free, no male or female, no division, we are all One in the heart of God. In this space, even the ancient wounds are staunched. The blood flow of pain, anger, resentment, confusion and hate find resolution.
Those who are now alive have the power to make choices that free them to live outside imposed structures to grow into the mind and heart of God. We are now free to imagine and create a more loving and hopeful place for all beings and creatures.
Read the poem again and see what comes up for you.
Peace and Shalom, Bob