The great 12th Century Persian mystic and poet, Shamsuddin Muhammad Hafiz wrote the following short poem, of which I am very fond:
and I have become
like two giant fat people living
in a tiny
keep bumping into
I am very fond of this poem because it is one to which I can relate. God and I have been bumping into one another for all of my life. Or, to be truthful, I have been trying my best to avoid God; but God, like some persistent, divine dodgem car, has always ensured we were on a collision course.
And I think that that’s why I am today a candidate to the ordained ministry; I am the fissionable remains of constantly being impacted by God. And yet I still feel as though I’m living on a tiny boat (even if I don’t quite deserve the description of a “giant fat person”!), bumping into God at unexpected moments. And sometimes I’m tossed overboard, into the bracing waters of grace; but always I scramble back on board again, for I have discovered that even if the encounters are occassionally bruising (and why should Jacob at Peniel have had all the fun?), without them I am simply not whole.
Who would have thought it possible?