(1207 – 1273)
Moses heard a shepherd on the road praying,
‘God, where are you? I want to help you, to fix your shoes
and comb your hair. I want to wash your clothes
and pick the lice off. I want to bring you milk
to kiss your little hands and feet when it's time
for you to go to bed. I want to sweep your room
and keep it neat. God, my sheep and goats
are yours. All I can say, remembering you,
is ayyyy and ahhhhhhhhh.'
Moses could stand it no longer.
'Who are you talking to?'
‘The one who made us,
and made the earth and made the sky.'
‘Don't talk about shoes
and socks with God! And what's this with your little hands
and feet? Such blasphemous familiarity sounds like
you're chatting with your uncles.
Only something that grows
needs milk. Only someone with feet needs shoes. Not God!
Even if you meant God's human representatives,
as when God said, 'I was sick, and you did not visit me,'
even then this tone would be foolish and irreverent….
The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and sighed
and wandered out into the desert.
A sudden revelation
came then to Moses. God's voice:
You have separated me
from one of my own. Did you come as a Prophet to unite,
or to sever?
I have given each being a separate and unique way
of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge.
What seems wrong to you is right for him.
What is poison to one is honey to someone else….
It's not me that's glorified in acts of worship.
It's the worshippers! I don't hear the words
they say. I look inside at the humility.
That broken-open lowliness is the reality,
not the language!