An old silent pond.
Into the pond a frog jumps.
Splash! Silence again.
“It is perhaps the best known of all Japanese haiku. No subject could be more humdrum. No language could be more pedestrian. Matsu Basho, the poet, makes no comment on what he or she is describing. He implies no meaning, message, or metaphor. He simply invites our attention to no more and no less than just this: the old pond in its watery stillness, the kerplunk of the frog, the gradual return of the stillness.
In effect he put a frame around the moment, and what the frame does is enable us to see not just something about the moment but the moment itself in all its ineffable ordinariness and particularity. The chances are that if we had been passing by when the frog jumped, we wouldn’t have noticed a thing or, noticing it, wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But the frame sets it off from everything else that distracts us. It makes possible a second thought.
…the most basic lesson that art teaches us is to stop, look, and listen to life on this planet, including our own lives, as vastly richer, deeper, more myserious business than most of the time it ever occurs to us to suspect as we bumble along from day to day on automatic pilot.” (excerpted from Whistling in the Dark by Frederick Buechner)
This is what we hope our new worship series “The Art and Resurrection of Justice” will help us to do…put a frame around Justice so that we might more clearly hear God’s call for our lives.
As you go through your day today, what might you be missing? Try to give everything you see a “second thought”. The places where people work. Are those really just massage parlors for anyone and everyone? What about our hotels? What about our eating establishments? Put a frame around them and notice what you see.