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Speaking to the Soul: Come and See

Speaking to the Soul: Come and See

John 1:43-51

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’  Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’   – John 1:45-46

At the beginning of December, Sister Mary Alice Murphy tracked me down.  Sr. Mary Alice has been a fierce advocate for people experiencing homelessness in our community for decades – so much so that the local resource center is named The Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope.  She had a project for me.  The Center, which has recently come under new management, needed art work hung on its walls to transform it from being rather barren and institutional to a place of welcome.

It was the perfect job for me, an opportunity to use my creative talent to transform a space.  I have done this before in church settings, using art to tailor an environment to the worship about to take place therein.  Doing it successfully means listening well to the people wanting to make a contribution to the project as well as to those who will use the space.

So I hung out at the Murphy Center and listened to guests, staff and other volunteers.  And after that, putting the art on the walls came together effortlessly, an expression of the enthusiastic participation of all those people.

“Come and see,” says Philip to his friend Nathanael.  This is an invitation to Nathanael to leave whatever perspective he has been inhabiting, to come away from it and enter into a place of receptivity.  “Come.  Put aside your preconceived notions.  Make room in your heart.  Come away from whatever has limited you and made you impervious.  Open up.

“And see.  Freed of judgments formed in advance, test with all your senses.  Test your perceptions of yourself as well as of others.  Do not rest with your limited understanding.  Ask questions.  Listen with the ear of the heart.  Take in what you are witnessing.  Reevaluate how you are interpreting things.”

It is in the little moments of sharing that ministry happens.  Knowing one another heart to heart, simply as people, is where we all both give and receive welcome and healing.  It is also where we find Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth, the improbable Messiah.

 


 

Laurie Gudim is a writer and religious iconographer who lives in Fort Collins, CO.  You can view some of her work at Everyday Mysteries.
Image: The Coloradan

 

 

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Maurice Simons - D.min

I am an ecumenical. I think many persons of all faith need be open to the Spiritual Beingness that enables faith: trust” in[Northern Palestinian peasant Aramaic which Jesus also mostly “taught in”.]

So did Mohammed albeit much of such was added to when
transliterated to Syrian by word or mouth. He only spoke
of wealthy merchants near by who lied cheated people (very much not in keeping with his oral proverbial type teachings about such). That his followers engaged in even limited Jihadist “type” activities against those type of “merchants” was due to their apparent understanding
of Mohammed’s condemnation of them was a directive to
to make war against them. Koran linguistic scholars have
distinguished Mohammed’s style of speaking in Aramaic
as would be transliterated to Syrian in part because of his
short sentenced or phrased in more proverbial metaphoric style as compared to more lengthy paragraph style which ended up in The Koran. In that added speaking. Jihadism
was expanded as Coptic Christians came North from Egypt and were considered “infidels”

I’ve spoken with American “Mullahs” about such “history”
in more detail. They perceive their worship (giving worth-
ship to Allah) as spiritual in nature. Granted there are some differing belief “systems” (dogmas) just as in Christianity (albeit such being far more diverse unfortunately!)

Laurie Gudim

Maurice,
I agree. Islamic worship is, indeed, deeply spiritual. Look at Sufism, which arises from that religious tradition. Fundamentalism in any religion sometimes leads to wrong action. We must reach beyond our fear to get to know one another and to share the riches of each tradition with one another.
Thanks for posting.

Tammy

Awesome words. Thank you for a renewed perspective! Can we see a picture of the art?

Laurie Gudim

Thank you, Tammy!
I don’t yet have pictures of the artwork, but I’ll come back and share a link with you when we do.
Blessings,
Laurie

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