Thursday, February 17, 2011

satyagrahi* (Matthew 5:38-48)

you invite us
  to walk the streets
              of the world,
     using those muddy paths
         marked 'kingdom'

so that when one acts
           with violence
        towards us, we will
  take gentleness out of
              our clenched pockets,
     to balm the hand injured
          by our face;

so when one hauls us
  into small claims court
             trying to get half
        of what we own,
    we will strip our homes
  of everything, loading it into
            their empty souls;

so when we see a homeless
     family sitting by the
          side of despair,
  our generosity will turn
      anti-panhandling laws
                   into toothless

what a dangerous invitation
              you send to us!

   how will we rsvp?

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

* a satyagrahi is a practitioner of satyagraha,
the soul-force or firm love advocated by Gandhi.
The purpose of satyagrahi is not to shame or
coerce the practitioner of oppression, violence,
or other manipulative acts, but to convert them
by one's practice of active non-violence.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

This is a remarkable poem...who are you???? why haven't I heard of you before??