Show me the Way

Nahida Izzat,
Exiled Palestinian

Dear God
Ten years ago, I sent you a letter
Innocent, hopeful, trusting and pure
Now I'll send it to You again


A new translation by David Curtis, second draft

(Pages 1-6 are missing)
Page 7

The disciples asked:1 "Teach us about the material world. Will it last forever, or is everything impermanent?"2

The Saviour answered: “All that is created, everything that is formed, every natural thing, all exist interdependently3 in and with each other. Then each will be dissolved again back into its own roots. It is the way of nature that everything will eventually decompose back into its own elements4. Those who have ears, let them hear.”

Peter said to him: “While you are explaining everything to us, tell us one more thing: What is the sin of the world?”

The Saviour answered: “There is no such thing as sin5, you only make it appear when you act according to the habits of your adulterated nature: that is how what you call 'sin' manifests6.This is why the Good has come into your midst, pursuing the good which is in everyone, to restore it inward to its root.” Then he continued, saying: “This is what sickens and destroys you: it is your love for the things that deceive you. Those who have ears, let them hear. Whoever can understand, let them understand!"


1 ‘The disciples asked’ is an addition but is helpful to set the scene and seems uncontroversial.
2 Intentional Buddhist reference in using ‘impermanent’. Some of the interpretations in this translation include understandings from a Buddhist perspective.
3 Another intentional Buddhist reference ‘interdependent’, this also sits well with a Franciscan view of our relationship and connection with the rest of creation.
4 Tuckett p139 The Saviour’s answer here is that, while all material things—‘all natures, all forms, all creatures’ form a unity at present, they will all ‘be dissolved again into their roots’. ‘Root’ here probably means ‘original state’, so that what is being claimed is that the destiny of all material things, all ‘matter’, is that they will be dissolved into their original constituent parts.
5 Richard Rohr, Falling Upward p12 ‘theologically and objectively speaking, we are already in union with God. But it is very hard for people to believe or experience this….’ See also Julian of Norwich
6 Buddhist understanding that ultimately suffering and the causes of suffering are essentially illusory, we make them appear. In more Christian language, we are always in direct personal union with God if only we knew it, but we habitually behave in ways which obscure this and we reap the consequences of our actions, of our falling in love with the things that deceive us. Quaker Faith and Practice 26.31 – Divine Love “does not create heaven and hell for us, but allows us to do that for ourselves."

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