The Village

Photography by Waseem Niaz

I walk a path, rainclouds retreat to the east. I come to a village tucked in a basin, earthen and stone dwellings line the path, but the sunlight illuminates people outside them, on their knees with hands cupped, raised up. Beggars, desiring nothing more than bread or coin? But there to my right, a husband and wife hold each other, looking otherworldly lovingly into one another, my eyes burn beholding the true wonder, a few tears fall to the ground. The message is clear. I stop going forth, lower myself to the ground until my ear is touching the soil, a sweeping warmth comes over me. My heart wants nothing more than to praise. Now I am one of those I had moments (lifetimes?) ago mistaken for poor. I lift my hands to the sky.

In this posture we are not tormented by how we can please God. The kingdom of heaven is being that profound peace that lets us just rest in God and God in us. By meeting the eyes of others, we are affirmations of that peace and this is all we must do for one another. I remember earth, the suffering in those snarling bodies, cries begging for desperate echoes to sustain themselves. Now, needing only God.

People have no idea what one saint can do: for sanctity is stronger than the whole of hell. The saints are full of Christ in the plenitude of His Kingly and Divine power: and they are conscious of it, and they give themselves to Him, that He may exercise His power through their smallest and seemingly most insignificant acts, for the salvation of the world.

– Thomas Merton, from Seven Storey Mountain


2013, Amaya Engleking

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One comment

  1. DeanJean · 19 Days Ago

    Ah…the quest for innate wealth…

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