Sufism is a branch of Islam that is more contemplative. Sufis are famous for their poetry and their story telling. The following made me think about a cunundrum for the Christian Church (Disc. of Christ). While some denominations like the UCC and United Methodists have come out in support of gay rights, the Disciples are slow to do so. That is because our church has a strong tradition of being open to all viewpoints, and we don’t want to exclude the anti-gay viewpoint. Well, I think we should not exclude any PERSON, but we are as called to denounce the anti-gay viewpoint as the anti-Black or anti-woman viewpoint. I believe the following applies to us:
A Stream In the Desert
A stream, from its source in far-off mountains, passing through every kind and description of countryside, at last reached the sands of the desert. Just as it had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one, but it found that as fast as it ran into the sand, its waters disappeared.
It was convinced, however, that its destiny was to cross this desert, and yet there was no
way. Now a hidden voice, coming from the desert itself, whispered: “The Wind crosses the desert, and so can the stream.”
The stream objected that it was dashing itself against the sand, and only getting absorbed: that the wind could fly, and this was why it could
cross a desert.
“By hurtling in your own accustomed way you cannot get across. You will either disappear or become a marsh. You must allow the wind to carry you over, to your destination.”
“But how could this happen?”
“By allowing yourself to be absorbed in the wind.”
This idea was not acceptable to the stream. After all, it had never been absorbed before. It did
not want to lose its individuality. And, once having lost it, how was one to know that it could
ever be regained?
“The wind,” said the sand, “performs this function. It takes up water, carries it over the desert,
and then lets it fall again. Falling as rain, the water again becomes a river.”
“How can I know that this is true?”
“It is so, and if you do not believe it, you cannot become more than a quagmire, and even that could take many, many years; and it certainly is not the same as a stream.”
“But can I not remain the same stream that I am today?”
“You cannot in either case remain so,” the whisper said. “Your essential part is carried away and forms a stream again. You are called what you are even today because you do not know which part of you is the essential one.”
Huston Smith brought the story to me, but I found it on line at The Blog of serdar. Thanks serdar.