Rumi, a thirteenth-century Persian poet, wrote, “Sell cleverness and buy bewilderment.” Now, eight-hundred years later, that is still good advice. Cleverness can be a thin, shiny veneer covering shallow ideas or the bluster of ungrounded opinions. Cleverness often deals with answers rather than unsettling questions. But if we greet each day with bewilderment we might begin by admitting all we don’t know—the hidden joys and sorrows of friends we thought we knew; the still undiscovered riches of the Earth and of the cosmos; the shocking devastation we humans are capable of; alongside even more shocking generosity and love. Above all, bewilderment leads us away from clever definitions and descriptions of God, into the height and width, the depth and breadth of God’s unbounded love, that greets our wondering eyes every morning.
By Mara Faulkner, OSB.