Uninvited Guests

Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen--The calling of St John during the marriage at Cana.1530On Christmas we entertained family and friends for most of the day. We enjoyed every guest that came. But visitors are not always easy to have around. They may come late, stay too long, or forget what they promised to bring. Inevitably someone will do something that unsettles another.

Our feelings are like guests. Some are more enjoyable than others. Yet Rumi invites us to welcome them all. Why? Because we can encounter God in them.

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 are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
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 whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

 – Jelaluddin Rumi
(translation by Coleman Barks)

The calling of St John during the marriage at Cana. 1530 by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen
“The Guest House” in The Essential Rumi by Rumi translated by Coleman Barks. Used with permission.
Banner: “Winter in Merstham Feb 2012” by Berit Watkin. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2014.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014  http://www.estherhizsa.wordpress.com.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Ignatian Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Uninvited Guests

  1. Reblogged this on Popcorn with a Spoon and commented:
    I’ll admit it… there are some guests I refuse to invite into my home. My OCD personality just can’t handle the mess! But this post from my lovely friend, Esther Hizsa, has me thinking… what (or whom) might I encounter if I welcome these messy ‘guests’?


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