Come, Come Whoever You Are–To What?

Rumi’s words in this beloved hymn of ours are so powerfully those of invitation.  Come. Wanderer, come.  Worshiper, come. Lover of leaving, come.

To what is Rumi (what are we) inviting the wanderer, the worshiper, or the lover of leaving to come?

Certainly we would say that we are inviting others to community.  We are inviting others to consider our Unitarian Universalist Principles.

I wonder how many of us think about inviting others into some deep trouble.  If we are honest, that’s ALSO what we have to offer.  We are, these days, all reeling and ruminating over recent events in our Unitarian Universalist Association regarding racial equity and justice, the continuing presence of white supremacy systems in our own association. When we invite others into our community, the sobering reality is that we are inviting them into our brokenness as well as our principles, and that is humbling.  Churches almost never put that on the billboard or the new member materials.  But, we have to.  This is also who we are.

Rumi often refers to the Beloved.  It’s easy to say that Beloved equals God, and it does.  As soon as one says it, though, it’s wrong. Rumi didn’t use the term God.  Rumi, like all gifted poets, knew that the metaphor is the more powerful language for Mystery.

The invitation to the wanderer, the worshiper, the lover of leaving, to the horrified life long member of a Unitarian Universalist Church, to a Person of Color who just signed the book in a UU Church is the same:  come, and discover the Beloved–in yourself, in your neighbor, in the stranger, in the one you think of as other, in the one you know as oppressor, in the one you are frightened of.  Come to the Beloved.  Come, yet again, come. Come, and let us find our way together.  I need you.  Come.  You need me.  Come.  We cannot do this alone.  Come, yet again, come.

Bob Patrick

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