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Blog a Koran Day - Allah and the Mosquito (Sura 2:26-27)

This entry is in honor of Blog a Koran Day (9/11), a wonderful initiative by Andrew Jones (Tall Skinny Kiwi) to help create understanding and respect between Moslims and Christians. My entry is inspired by Sura 2:26-27 from the Koran in which it is said that Allah compares himself to a tiny mosquito.

[2:26] GOD does not shy away from citing any kind of allegory, from the tiny mosquito and greater. As for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord. As for those who disbelieve, they say, "What did GOD mean by such an allegory?" He misleads many thereby, and guides many thereby. But He never misleads thereby except the wicked,
[2:27] who violate GOD's covenant after pledging to uphold it, sever what GOD has commanded to be joined, and commit evil. These are the losers.
 
Allah compares himself with a mosquito and is not ashamed about it. Mosquito’s buzz, bite, and bring diseases. You would not expect Allah wanting to compare himself to something like that. Yet he does.

There is a play on the words ‘allegory’ and ‘truth’ in these verses. The comparison of Allah with the mosquito is the truth, the essence of Allah. It is more than just some allegory. The comparison runs deeper, is mystical, it reaches far and deep. Allah holds the creation together, ‘joins’ it parts, by comparing himself to the tiny mosquito. It is essential that he does this.

I often pull a tarot card to meditate on a question. My question for today is: ‘What if I would compare myself with a mosquito, what will give me that?

      

The card that I have drawn is Strength from the Rider Waite Tarot. By comparing myself with a mosquito I come into contact with my shadow side. Sometimes I feel like a buzzing, nasty mosquito. I can bite, often I am sharp and angry. This is expressed by the lion on the card: a lion is a wild animal. The woman corrects the lion, but does not reject it. Gently she closes its jaws. She acts in a way that shows compassion with the beast. The gift of comparing myself with the mosquito is compassion with the difficult, buzzing, angry and sharp side of me.

Maybe it is like that for Allah as well. By comparing himself with a mosquito, he receives the gift of compassion with us.

Here is information about the nature and style of the Koran and here about reading and interpretation this book by Ziauddin Sardar
shrouded crucifix

Questions for a Daily Card during Lent in English

These are questions for a daily card during Lent in English. I started from Saturday week 2. Right now we are at Wednesday week 3, which is not the most uplifting question. Feel free to change my translations in real English.

                                 

Saturday week 2: About what am I afraid to speak? John:12-13
(March 7, 2010) Sunday week 3: What is uncontrollable in me? Mark 5:1-13
Monday week 3: Where can I find Jesus? John 7:32-34
Tuesday week 3: Towards what flow the streams of living water from inside me? John 7:37-38
Wednesday week 3: What is my sin? John 8:1-7
Thursday week 3: What is the truth about me that sets me free? John 8:31-32
Friday week 3: How can I become truly free? John 8:33-36
Saturday week 3: Which word of God do I keep? John 8: 51-55
(March 14, 2010) Sunday week 4: What do I fail to see and hear? Mark 8:16-21
Monday week 4: What do I need more of? John 6:1-11
Tuesday week 4: How does Jesus come to me (figure, character)? John 6:16-21
Wednesday week 4: How am I bread of life (how am I the living bread)? John 6:28-35
Thursday week 4: The sacrifice that gives me life is... John 6:48-51
Friday week 4: How remains Jesus in me? John 6:52-56
Saturday week 4: What is the Spirit that gives me life? John 6:60-63
(March 21 2010) Sunday week 5: What is the cross I bear, following Jesus? Mark 8:34
Monday week 5: How can my eyes be opened? John 9:1-7
Tuesday week 5: For what will Jesus open my eyes? (What does he want to show me?) John 9:35-39
Wednesday week 5: What is the door that opens to pasture? John 10:1-9
Thursday week 5: What brings me to faith? John 10:40-42
Friday week 5: What do I want to give Jesus? John 12,1-2
Saturday week 5: What heals me, and makes that my eyes see, my ears hear and my heart opens? John 12:27-40
(March 27, 2010) Palm Sunday: How can I be a king like Jesus? John 12:12-15
Monday Holy Week: What is being healed by Jesus in me? Matt. 21:14
Tuesday Holy Week: What needs to die in me so that I will bear fruit? John 12:23-24
Wednesday Holy Week: What comforts me in my fear? John 12:27
Maundy Thursday: What work am I completing that Jesus gave me to do? John 17:4
Good Friday: In what way do I betray Jesus? John 13:36-38
Holy Saturday: How can I enter Gods rest right now? Hebr.4:6-11
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mother with baby

In Between

This morning my daughter (12) went to school on her seven centimeter pumps. We have a new vacuum cleaner with a face on it: it has eyes and a mouth. By leaving for school she turned around, beaming a radiant smile to me and said: “It has a face!” She is still a child.
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maria in garden

Palm Sunday

It is Palm Sunday today. On this Sunday is remembered that Jesus entered Jerusalem. The people on the street waved with palm branches. He entered Jerusalem as a king, but he rode on a donkey, which is not an animal kings usually ride on. My card today is drawn to the question: How can I be a king as Jesus? 

               

I pulled Seven of Pentacles from the Victorian Romantic Tarot. On the card a girl looks intensely at a little bunch of flowers she has picked. There are just a few flowers in the bunch and they are very tiny. I’ve used a looking glass to see them.

I can be a king as Jesus by feeling accomplished, also when my achievements are not that big. For that I need to try not to set my aims too high. More importantly, I need to stay focused on the job at hand, not being diverted by status, what others think of me, and quick results.
rain on window

Lent, Saturday, Fifth Week


Today my question is “What makes that my eyes see, my heart opens, and I heal?” It is inspired by John, who quotes Isaiah.

I have drawn a card from the Tarot of Jane Austen, Ten of Quills (Ten of Swords). I thought I never pulled it before and I scanned it, but I have

               

Shown is Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Darcy, whom she loves, walks away. She has informed him that a man called Wickam has eloped with her sister Lydia. This means societal ruin for her sister and for her. She is distressed, and thinks she will never be able to marry Darcy. All ends well, but she does not know that right now.
I planned less classes in the following season, and I have raised my prices. I want to write a book for reading the Bible with the instrument of tarot, but the book seems far away in a distant future. I still first have to prepare two new courses for next season. It all feels uncomfortable, as an ending with no real sight at the future.  

What makes that my eyes see, my heart opens and I heal? Give in to this situation and accept it as it is. Maybe blind eyes are needed here, they’ll see. 
Clara met monstrans

Library

Today I got an email from the public library that a book had arrived. I ordered this book on Thursday and today it is Saturday. It had to come all the way from Utrecht from a university library. Libraries are wonderful things.

I wanted to buy the book, I looked at Better World Books and found a link there with the suggestion that maybe I could borrow the book from a library in the neighborhood. I clicked, Worldcat came up, a worldwide catalogue of libraries, and almost immediately I knew it was in Utrecht. Awesome.

I had had a funny conversation with the librarian while ordering the book. The book is called “Living the Incarnation; Praying with Francis and Clare”. “Incarnation”, he said, “Is that not something you do, you just reincarnate, you live or you do not live, you cannot choose to reincarnate while living already cannot you?” The word incarnation is a technical term referring to the becoming human of Christ, but it took me a while before I could say that. I have just read a book about environmental theology. In this book the whole earth becomes Christ who suffers, and is suffering right now from pollution. The whole of the earth is the incarnation of God. Suddenly I thought it was really wrong and politically incorrect to say…”Yes, well, the incarnation refers to God becoming human, 2000 years ago…”. But eventually I came up with the right words, which were: “God”, “human”, “2000 years ago”.
mother with baby

Pumps

Tomorrow a new episode in my life as a mother begins. My daughter, aged twelve, will wear pumps (heels 7 centimeter) to a big school party. I do not know if I am up to it.
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sleeping

Lent, Wednesday, Fifth Week

My card for today was inspired by famous words of Jesus in John. He says about himself that he is a door for a cattle of sheep. Jesus leads them outside and they follow him because they know him. Outside he takes them to nice green grass (sheep is not meant belittling, although it sounds like that). 

                         

I’ve pulled Sword Four from the Arthurian Tarot. The place Jesus leads me to, is not outside, but inside. The road leads to a an easy accessible chapel. In this chapel I can lay down my sword, in order to rest. The process of becoming comfortable in raising my prizes has cost five months. I have pulled lots and lots of Pentacles during these months. I need to rest, and I can. Well, if nothing else comes up.
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Pricing

This morning I took a stern look at the prices for my courses with a friend who is good in pricing. I needed to raise the prices, and I did. We managed to do it in such a way that it is good for me and good for the clients. I am very happy.
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