In an amazing poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, “Interrelationship,” he speaks of the depth of relationship we are called to.
You are me, and I am you.
Isn’t it obvious that we ‘inter-are’?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
So that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
So that you will not have to suffer.
I support you;
You support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
You are in this world to bring me joy.
The height, the depth, the breadth of this poem echoes in each mystic heart. For most of us it is a vision we hope for and one for which we strive. For most of us we spend more time on transforming the ‘garbage’ that is within ourselves and forget it is so that the other will not have to suffer our ‘stuff’. Can you imagine what marriage would be like if each one cultivated the flower within him/herself so that the other would be beautiful? Can you imagine what schools, hospitals, training camps, churches, and organizations would be like if each person took this poem seriously and committed to live it out?
I offer this poem as we begin the journey of Lent. If we each took a word, a line that caught our attention and let it be the focus of these six weeks I believe Easter would be a whole new experience. I think that is the message of Jesus. ‘I am you and you are me’. We are invited to live that today — in this time and in this place.
Join with me as we are opened to the ‘interrelationship’ we are created to live. Let us hold each other in prayer that we can offer peace and joy to our world. And may this March be the beginning of a new way of life for each of us.