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A Cyrus moment

Posted by Simon Parke, 02 November 2017, 10.51am

A Cyrus moment.

You’ve probably had one of these.

I first heard the phrase from Professor Mark Williams, who has written so well about mindfulness.

It describes a moment when something outside our tradition or set of assumptions becomes an important new truth.

He was referring to the need for Christianity to learn from and celebrate mindfulness, even though it comes from a tradition outside the Christian scriptures.

Truth is truth…whatever the label.

And no one has it all.

Why Cyrus?

Well, the reference is from the Bible, the book of Isaiah chapter 45, when the prophet announces to the Israelites that freedom will be achieved – wait for it - through ‘the anointed Cyrus’.


This is like a Brexiteer being told that Nick Clegg has some really good ideas about Europe.

Or a liberal Leftie being told that Jacob Rees-Mogg actually does have a point.

It was the Jewish kings who were the anointed ones; while Cyrus was a Persian monarch, for God’s sake!

So what could he possibly bring to the party?

There was no way they were going to listen to him.

He was the enemy, as history made very clear.

We hate Cyrus! We hate Cyrus!’

But the message of Isaiah was simple, though shocking: someone outside your cherished circle of beliefs and assumptions (yes, even a bling-wearing Johnny Foriegner Persian) will lead you to freedom.

So here’s to staying open to the rude glory of Cyrus moments; to truth unlabelled.

Lest I become stupid in my certainties…a shrivelled and blinkered partisan for my favourite cause.

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