A friend who is living with an invasive and aggressive cancer posted this poem on his Caring Bridge page.  It is not an easy thought to embrace, and I wonder about his ruminations on it in the middle of his nights.

Unsettling as it is to our conventional ways of answering our doorbell, it is an invitation to each of us to reflect on a deeper definition of our soul’s hospitality.

THE GUEST HOUSE – Jelaluddin Rumi (translation by Coleman Barks)

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.