LOOK UP AND SEE

The splitting of the Red Sea, according to Jewish tradition, is the greatest miracle ever performed. And yet we have one midrash that mentions two Israelites, Reuven and Shimon, who had a different experience.

Apparently the bottom of the sea, though safe to walk on, was not completely dry but a little muddy, like a beach at low tide.
Reuven stepped into it and curled his lip. “What is this muck?”

Shimon scowled, “There’s mud all over the place!”

“This is just like the slime pits of Egypt!” replied Reuven.

“What’s the difference?” Complained Shimon. “Mud here, mud there; it’s all the same.”

And so it went for the two of them, grumbling all the way across the bottom of the sea. And, because they never once looked up, they never understood why on the distant shore, everyone else was singing and dancing. For Reuven and Shimon the miracle never happened.

Source | Shemot Rabba 24.1
Story is also told in Lawrence KushnerEyes Remade for Wonder, pages 11-12

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • While the sea had parted, for Reuven and Shimon the miracle never made it’s way into their heart, or their life. This is a story about the permission to look up.
  • What are the blinders you choose to wear? There is something about our myopic vision that not only affects what we see, but also our capacity to risk or embrace or celebrate or sing and dance or praise or venture or love wholeheartedly.
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Author: philipchircop

I'm a Jesuit from Malta, an artist at heart and madly in love with all things beautiful and soulful: music, painting, sculpture, photography, film, theatre, poetry, good company, good food, good wine and more. I believe that beauty is a wonderful entry into the mystery of the God “whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” God can be sensed in all things if and when we engage in a long, loving look at the real that surrounds us. I consider myself a seeker with bottomless curiosity, an eternal student of life, exploring fresh and creative ways to proclaim the Good News in the hope of helping fellow pilgrims and seekers to embrace real and radical changes that will lead to conversion and transformation.

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