The temporary tent was bright, big, and bigger. The sides curtains were up. Multicoloured lights dominated the with a big sign in Chinese characters.
“What is that?”
“It is a temporary structure for a Taoist celebration.”
“Who can afford this”
“Temple sponsors, tickets sold, and items auctioned.”
As we talked about the details, neither of us Taoist, I came to discover a fine nuance I wonder would work in other religions. Items that bring good luck are actioned off to the highest bidder for one year. At the end of that year, the winner of the auction pays for her/his winning bid out of the fortuitous results that were anticipated. Additionally, the item is freely given back with the understanding that it will bring good fortune to the next year’s auction winner.
Promises made, promises kept; by both parties.
In the embrace of all things compassionate, I became part of a two-way promise. In the embrace of every human being who is child of God’s, I found myself at the end of a handshake. If I tried to put words to the promise and handshake, I would use the words a psalmist left with us; “I’m a friend and companion of all who fear you, of those committed to living by your rules.” (Psalm 119.63)
Yesterday’s tent was wide open. The sides were up. Big round tables were waiting. When I came home, the tent was full, and the celebration seemed to be in full swing.
I am hopeful that my tent today mimics the white one on the corner; big, open, and full of people having a good time! My prayer is that everyone experiences the promise of compassion freely gifted. Hopefully it does not end there. In the experience of receiving a gift, I hope each also hears the call to gift it on to another. Once accepted, the rarest gifts life offers to us will never leave us when we pass them on. If fact, each seems to grow.
It is not quite dawn. I am looking forward to today’s open tent.