Today I feel caught between public and personal happenings. I live in Toronto where ten people were killed and fifteen injured yesterday in what appears to be a random crazy attack. Will we ever know what motivated Alek to take so many lives of people who were strangers to him? The inner pain of the man, the anguish, delusion, distortion, separation….
Each one of us, as human beings, experience inner pain. An existential loneliness is a well-documented shared human inheritance. Most of us find ways of living with it. We learn to make friends, hold jobs, whether satisfying or not, that connect us to the bigger whole. We shop, eat, exercise, drink, work, play video games, decorate our homes, travel, study, help others… the list goes on and on of ways that we find to either cover up that existential loneliness, or ease its pain. And within our coping ways, we can even find joy, laughter and purpose.
Somewhere I read….and I’m sorry I can’t source this non-original thought… that this planet and our human lives on it, are a school of suffering. To be a human being is a challenging lifetime for we are here to learn how to suffer with graciousness and compassion. We are to allow our souls to be shaped by suffering. That doesn’t mean we’re doormats, but, the opposite, for we are to be actively and wisely open to suffering while we keep grounded in the deep, deep love of God. We are to touch God’s compassion through our suffering.
On a personal level, we’re selling our home and perhaps hearing offers today. As part of my work around that life transition, I’ve been re-reading Joyce Rupp’s book ‘Praying Our Good-byes’. This morning she took me to Jesus’ life, into his family life, his ministry years, his friendships, his suffering, and the long list of his good-byes before his death. I enjoyed reading of his connection with people and valued being shown, long before his death, his pain and suffering as he experienced human life.
As a human being, he suffered. I suffer. There are things I don’t understand. Looking at Jesus’ death, I see God entangled in our suffering. So then, how will I respond?
I spoke with one care-giver who was involved in the aftermath of the attack yesterday. His response was one we often hear. He spoke of the resilience of human beings, the goodness that pours out of people as they try to help victims, the shared sorrow of those nearby. In a moment when we see the worst, the greatest pain of being human, we also see the best, the greatest beauty of being human.
May our personal lives be grounded in the deep, deep love that God has for each one of us. May we respond to suffering, both personal and public, carefully, gently with wisdom, with openness, with compassion. One step at a time. Life is a marathon and we’re not done yet.
If this is interesting to you, please show support by sharing it with a friend. Let’s broaden the contemplative pathway.
Love and prayers
Mystic in Motion
Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada
4 thoughts on “Public and Personal”
Good morning Anne,
Thanks for Mystic in Motion, and your beautiful and God-filled thoughts. I love sharing your emails, and I know that my friends and family who read them are blessed.
You and Ralph will be missed in TO; but you will always be in my heart, prayers, and thoughts.
Wishing you God’s grace and love as you continue on your journey.
thanks Evadne. It’s wonderful and encouraging to hear from you. We will miss our Toronto friends and life too. Right now i think Mystic in Motion will continue. I hope we can stay connected. – Anne
Personal Lives in the backdrop of the public world ….
Always great to read M in M in the rain….in wooded parking lot !
There isn’t anything I can add to this … (tears of silence?) ..last night I attended a vigil and 1st nations presented a healing rain dance… rain brings healing, the female leader Redstone explains.
that’s an interesting insight for me around rain, especially as i move west! let the healing happen in our city with the rain today. — hmmm are tears of silence part of the rain?