I started the conversation by asking, “Where did you meet?” The soon to be married couple looked at each other and answered in unison “Mt. Everest.”I quickly responded “I guess one was on the way up and one was on the way down.” Smiling they responded in unison, “How did you guess?” I am not a mountain climber, but I do enjoy walking and hiking in the woods and in the hills. Many of my walks, and I am confident the same is true for you, are rewarded by wonderful views. The son of the renowned and famous Mt. Everest climber and Sherpa, Tensing Norgay, responded to the question if he climbed for the views “I do not climb for the view but for a whole new way of seeing”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4Kw7GlZcHM
We begin the second month of this year with more of the same problems and challenges we faced in the last. Heightened, by the ongoing pandemic, deepened by political uncertainty, enraged by injustice, and despairing of greater and greater economic and health disparity, we yearn for a new way of seeing and a new way of living.
The Welsh poet and priest R.S. Thomas writes a poem entitled The Kingdom
It’s a long way off but inside it
There are quite different things going on:
Festivals at which the poor man
Is king and the consumptive is
Healed; mirrors in which the blind look
At themselves and love looks at them
Back; and industry is for mending
The bent bones and the minds fractured
By life. It’s a long way off, but to get
There takes no time and admission
Is free, if you purge yourself
Of desire, and present yourself with
Your need only and the simple offering
Of your faith, green as a leaf.
Ponder the possibility that you and I can bring about this Kingdom, little by little, if only we could discover a new way of seeing, a new way of believing, a new way of living. Yes it takes a lot of courage, as does climbing Mt. Everest! It’s not about the view, it’s about a new way of seeing!
Moses, long ago,
so too Jesus,
Peter, James and John,
so take me
to a mountain place,
not for the view
but for a new way of seeing.
Give me sight
that I might not be blind to the injustice.
Give me ears
that I might hear clearly the cry of the hungry.
Give me courage
that I might make a difference,
so more would see and hear
the song of justice and mercy,
hope, and love. Amen.