Beyond labels

Want to see fireworks?

Just mention the word “Jesus” to some people.  You can watch them cringe, protest, sigh, fuss inside, turn you off, turn the other way, numb out, freak out, hum, ignite, turn away.

Don’t mention the word “Jesus” to other people.  You will see them scowl, fuss, freak, judge, sniff, snort, turn you off, label you, serve you for breakfast, put you in a box.

Who says words aren’t powerful?  The most powerful creatures in the Universe disguised in ABC’s?

Jesus pointed beyond ABC’s.  Beyond words.  Beyond labels, judgments, fusses.  Beyond himself.  Always beyond himself. 

People like labels.  They make us feel more secure.  We can label ourselves and others:  Christians, New Agers, Muslims, Buddhists, Native Americans, atheists, hippies, crazy folks, weird, schizophrenic, gay, educated, uneducated, rich, poor, six billion other labels, other boxes, other drawers, other containers that cut us off from one another, separate us, cut us up with scissors, throw us away.

What if we had no labels?  What if we refused to wear them and pin them on our neighbors and friends?  What if we refused to believe a Mind which is discerning who is a threat and who is safe? 

What if we could banter the name of Jesus as casually as our friend down the road?  What if we could call our friend down the street with so much sacred divinity that Light sizzled out her pores and hair and twinkling eyes?  What if that hummingbird is divine?  What if that raccoon’s name is Buddha?  What if that bat flapping its wings in the dark-night is you in disguise, a shadow on the moon?  What if Jesus lurks in the horny toad in the vernal pool?

What if we’re all so sacred that words can no longer hurt us, pull us from the bone, sever us from our hearts?  What if words become empty boxes and we fall in love with the nothingness in the boxes?  What if our joy bursts beyond labels, beyond judgments, beyond Jesus, beyond horny toad, beyond Earth, beyond dreams?

Perhaps we’ll sit cross-legged on the earth, smiling at the fireworks and roasting marshmallows over the crackling fire.

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15 thoughts on “Beyond labels

  1. You, Kathy, are a master at using words to heal and not to hurt. It will be a blessed day when we all connect, way beyond the disconnecting labels.

    • Thank you, Barbara. What a wonderful thing to say. (I think you can say this because you are exactly the same.) And I am looking forward to that day.

      Come to think about it, I am trying to practice not labeling myself or others. Hoping that when and if that finally happens, that would be a good first step.

    • It’s always amazing when a story unexpectedly twists and turns, isn’t it, Elisa? And also when we can wink or cackle because we recognize that we’re a bit surprised or just agreeing or maybe hungry for s’mores.

    • Mmmm….it would be fun sitting around a fire with all of you. But not until after these spring snowstorms stop. It’s still a little cold here in our north woods. 🙂

    • Shall we whittle some sticks upon which to toast our marshmallows? Do you like your marshmallow toasty brown or burned a little bit? I like it when it’s just a little bit burned. And oh do these s’mores sound tempting!

  2. I’ll be there too, joyfully, sitting around the fire, eating s’mores and watching the fireworks. Knowing that after all is said and done, this precious moment is all that really matters. After all is said and done…….

    • It all comes back to this precious moment, doesn’t it, Colleen? All these words…they are either helping put us squarely back into the midst of this preciousness or they are pushing us away and alienating us. Words. You gotta love ’em. Especially if they do the former. Pass me another marshmallow, will you?

      • As you were talking about words it brought to mind a poem by Hafiz that I really love…..

        If you think that the truth can be known
        From words,

        If you think that the Sun and the Ocean
        Can pass through the tiny opening called the mouth,

        O someone should start laughing!
        Someone should start wildly laughing –
        Now!

        ( passing the marshmallows……. )

  3. Pingback: Stillness in motion « Simply here

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