"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Pain and Community

I think I have mentioned, so many times that you are sick to death of hearing it, that I continue to be fed by Richard Rohr's book, Yes, And… . This is a quote from that book which found me this morning. Wanted to share with you.

"Pain teaches a most counterintuitive thing---that we must go down before we even know what up is. It is first an ordinary wound before it can become a sacred wound.  Suffering of some sort seems to be the only thing strong enough to destabilize our arrogance and our ignorance.  I would define suffering very simply as whenever you are not in control.
    All healthy religion shows you what to do with your pain.  If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.  If your religion is not showing you how to transform your pain, it is junk religion…..
    If we cannot find a way to make our wounds into sacred wounds, we invariably become negative or bitter--because we will be wounded. That is a given. …"


     During this time spent in the hospital, caring for my Dad with all my brothers and sister, I have noticed one hugely wonderful thing.  All the people sitting in the waiting rooms, lounging in the halls, scrolling through their cell phones, walking up and down the stairs, squeezing into elevators,  ALL of us are holding someone who is dear to us gently in our hearts. We are all hurting and every one of us seems open to sharing with complete strangers so that we may all be joined in the praying for each other and our loved ones.  We have become family to all these strangers whose loved ones suffer in the ICU, hooked to tubes and, as the poem say, "…moaning for release".
       We are open to sharing, to the taking and giving of progress reports and encouragement, because we are all in exactly the same place emotionally. We lean upon each other, even though we may forget to ask each other's names. This is a community of love, born out of suffering and helplessness.

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