THE LION IN THE MARBLE

There was once a sculptor who worked hard with hammer and chisel on a large block of marble. A little child who was watching him saw nothing more than large and small pieces of stone falling away left and right. He had no idea what was happening. But when the boy returned to the studio a few weeks later, he saw, to his surprise, a large, powerful lion sitting in the place where the marble had stood. With great excitement, the boy ran to the sculptor and said, “Sir, tell me, how did you know there was a lion in the marble?”

Source | Henri Nouwen, Clowning in Rome, (Image, 2000) pages 83-84

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • What is your answer to the above question? One possible answer is: “I knew there was a lion in the marble because before I saw the lion in the marble, I saw him in my own heart. The secret is that it was the lion in my heart that recognized the lion in the marble.”
  • “The art of sculpture is, first of all, the art of seeing. In one block of marble, Michelangelo saw a loving mother holding her dead son on her lap, while in another, he saw a self-confident David ready to hurl his stone at the approaching Goliath, and in a third, he saw an irate Moses at the point of rising in anger from his seat. Visual art is indeed the art of seeing, and the practice of disciplines is a way to make visible what has been seen. The skillful artist is a liberator who frees from bondage the figures hidden for billions of years inside the marble. The artist reveals the true identity of the figures!” | Henri Nouwen, Clowning in Rome, (Image, 2000) page 84

TRAVELLING FIRST CLASS

Once upon a time there was a man who wanted to go on a trip. He decided to do this by taking a bus. He went to the bus station to buy a ticket. The man at the ticket counter said, “What kind of ticket do you want – first class, second class, or third class?” The man decided he was a first class kind of a guy, and spent the extra cash needed to secure a first class passage.

It came time for the passengers who had bought tickets to get on the bus. The “first class” man was the only one who had chosen to buy that level of ticket. He got on the bus and asked the driver, “Where do I sit?” The driver replied, “Anywhere you want?” This made the man a little angry. He thought first class people should have special seats you, see. “Well then, wait a minute. Where do the second class people sit?” “Anywhere they want.” replied the driver. Now the man was really angry. “Well, heck, where do the third class people sit?” The driver replied, “Anywhere they want.” The man was about to make a stink at this point because there seemed to be no advantage to paying a higher ticket price, but before he could, more people got on the bus and the driver was otherwise occupied. The man took a seat and began sulking.

Now a half hour into the bus ride, the bus broke down because of a flat tire. The driver got on the loudspeaker and said, “OK, third class people, get out of the bus and change the tire.” The third class people tramped off the bus. Then he said, “OK you second class people, get off the bus and supervise the third class people to make sure they get that tire fixed.” So the second class people tramped off the bus.

Finally there was no one left but the driver and the man who held the first class ticket. “Well, what should I do?” the first class man asked the driver. “Nothing.” replied the driver. “Remember – you’re going first class. All you have to do is watch.”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

There are three types of people in this world. The people who fix the tires, the people who stand around saying “fix the tire” and the people who sit around and do nothing. Which one are you?

  • Are you a first class ticket kind of person? Always top of the line, always wanting to be served, taking no initiative and doing nothing?
  • Are you second class, all talk and no action? You know what you should be doing, but you don’t do it.
  • Are you third class? Do you get off that bus whenever a need emerges, fixing in the best way you can the flat tires and hurts of this world? Are you an active agent of and for change when it comes to tikkun olam [Hebrew word meaning “repairing the world”]


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