The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
I am grateful to Ivonprefontaine for reminding me about Rumi’s wonderful poem, The Guest House. It seems perfect for Lent in that it explores an important dimension of hospitality in a way that reminds me of Jesus’s temptations in the wilderness.
Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet. He was a Sunni Muslim, theologian and Sufi mystic. He was the “father” of the Whirling Dervishes (founded by his son, Sultan Walad).
The image of the poem is freely available through Pixabay
1 thought on “The Guest House”
David, your comment is spot-on. When we welcome the stranger and the strange, we do not know what it holds.
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