Listening for Abundance, Part III: "But first I needed to go blind and deaf"

"The Incredulity of St. Thomas"
by Matthias Stom, ca. 1620. Public Domain.
by Mike Mather

They wait like lowered gates while the mystery rolls past. Tomas Transtromer

How do you make visible whats invisible? I was that lowered gate.  The mystery was rolling past and I didnt see it. Id come to help.  My help isnt needed.  My eyesight is.

But first I needed to go blind and deaf.  So that I could see and hear.

The poet can have only one prayer: not to understand the unacceptablelet me not understand, so that I may not be seducedlet me not hear, so that I may not answerThe poets only prayer is a prayer for deafness.  Marina Tsvetayeva

THIS is the way things change, when we begin, to close our ears and eyes to what we have learned and begin to pay attention to the world as it is in all its wonder.

Thomas had to put his hand in Jesus wound.  Me too. I didnt feel it at first, but now I do. Did Thomass hand touch the various organs? The liver, the kidney, the stomach, or even the unnecessary appendix?  I was groping, too.

I was groping too.  I often came in contact with someone who was asking for money or food.  For a long time I would grab a bag or a little bit of money and help where I could.

As time went on I began to discover what I had almost missed.  The people sitting in front of me were my parents, my sister, my brothers.  They were people with interesting lives, but as the poet and physician of Paterson, New Jersey William Carlos Williams said no one/will believe this/of vast import to the nation.  I sure didnt.

I was missing the mystery of the lives before me.  I hadnt seen the entrepreneurs, the cooks, the clothes makers, the musicians, and the artists.  I was slowly awakening, as if from a sleep.

Step by step - poem, by cake, by clothing - I began to notice what I had not realized was there.

I began to see the way I was seen.   I was a bank, a credit card, a holder of money and power.  I wasnt considered one who saw dreams and lives, but only needs to be filled.  I had trained people well, we had trained people well.  Come tell us whats wrong, we cried.  Please. 

Could we begin to change the way our neighbors would see us?  Would people say - Im so interested in this thing Ive been spending my time on - I bet those people over at the church would love to hear about it!"

You only learn what you already know.  - something Phil Amerson said to me 490* times between 1986-1991

*Matthew 18.22