When I saw this sign when I was in Standing Rock in November, I loved it and posted it on facebook page, saying something like “A good message for all of us.” A Muslim friend
pointed out to me that this is not a message for “all of us” in his opinion. Surrender/Submission is a key concept in Islam and according to one interpretation, it was surrendering to something greater than ourselves that brought me and other clergy to Standing Rock in the first place.
The sign wasn’t the issue– it was my little phrase “all of us.” To be honest, I find it to be a constant discipline to remember that human beings are not just replicas of Darcy Baxter, to be curious about people’s behaviors and actions rather than assuming I know what they mean. You could take the very same action I take but have different motivations. We could have the same motivations and very different actions. Remaining curious, particularly in stressful times, take effort and intention, something my morning meditation and prayer practice really help me with. And dancing– lots and lots of dancing.
In your life right now, do you need to resist? Do you need to surrender? Maybe we all need to do a little bit of both and remember some people’s surrender looks like another’s resistance. And another’s resistance will be someone else’s surrender. I thanked my friend for his perspective and deleted “all of us” and said instead “a powerful message.” If only all communication and issues of meaning were so easy to resolve!
This Sunday, join me, Rabbi Shalom Bochner, and musician Sue Cotter: Deep Roots, Beautiful Blossoms–Rabbi Shalom Bochner of Congregation Beth Shalom joins Rev. Darcy and shares with us about the wisdom of Tu Bishvat–celebrated this year on February 10th, and called by some the “Jewish Earth Day.”