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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Pinned"


              ...Countless people have been devastated for reasons that cannot be explained or justified in Spiritual terms.  To do as you are doing in asking If there were a God, why would he let my little girl have to have possibly life-threatening surgery?-understandable as that question is-creates a false hierarchy of the blesses and the damned.  To use are individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true Compassion.  It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason.  It fails to acknowledge that the other half of Rising-the very half that makes Rising necessary-is having first been nailed to a Cross.
              That's where you were the other night when you wrote to me, dear woman. Pinned in a place by your Suffering.  I woke up at 3a.m. because I could feel you Pinned there so acutely that I-a stranger-felt Pinned too.  So I got up and wrote to you.  My e-mail was a paltry little e-mail probably not too different from the zillions of other paltry little e-mails you received from others, but I know without knowing you that those e-mails from people who had nothing to give you but their kind words, along with all the Prayers people were praying for you, together formed a tiny raft that could just barely hold your weight as you floated through those terrible hours while you awaited your daughter's fate.
              If I believed in God, I'd see evidence of his existence in that.  In your darkest hour you were held afloat by the human Love that was given you when you most needed it. That would have been true regardless of the outcome of Emma's surgery.  It would have been the Grace that carried you through even if things had not gone as well as they did, much as we hate to ponder that.
              Your question to me is about God, but boiled down to the essentials. It's not so different than most questions people ask me to answer.  It says: This failed me and I want to do better next time. My answer will not be so different either: To do better you're going to have to try. Perhaps the good that can come from this terrifying experience is a more complex understanding of what God means to you so the next time you need Spiritual solace you'll have something sturdier to lean on than that rickety I'll-believe-he-exists-only-if-he-gives-me-what-I-want fence.  What you have learned as you sat with Emma in the intensive care unit is that your idea of God as a possibly nonexistent Spirit man who may not hear your prayers and may not swoop in to save your ass when the going gets rough is a losing prospect.
              So it's up to you to create a better one.  A bigger one.  Which is really, almost always, something smaller.
              What if you allowed your God to exist in the Simple words of Compassion others offer to you?  What if Faith is the way it feels to lay your hands on your daughter's Sacred body?  What if the greatest Beauty of the day is the shaft of Sunlight through your window?  What if the worst thing happened and you Rose anyway?  What if you Trusted in the human scale?  What if you Listened harder to the story of the man on the Cross who found a Way to endure his Suffering than to the one about the impossible magic of the Messiah?  Would you see the Miracle in that? 

~Cheryl Strayed
U.S.A.


~Beannaichte'
 18 April, 2017


@beannaichte.twitter.com