I’m in an unexpected frame of mind. I began my blog on June 14th last year, my heart and mind filled with love and light from receiving a few moments of grace that allowed me to feel how much God loves us and our living, loving, life-giving-and-sustaining Mother Earth. Most of the daily posts since then have been filled with my thankful and enthusiastic response to Love, with me often feeling guided by something higher than myself, something beyond my own understanding. Some people have commented how much these posts have meant to them and I feel so much gratitude that there is something I, disabled by a chronic illness, can do to make a difference in others’ lives. It has been a life-changing answer to the call of my soul.
Yet, I haven’t had any comments from people who have suffered, and continue to suffer, tragic losses, and I’ve wondered how my posts strike them. Do they hate the entity/people who hurt them? Do they believe God loves everyone—even the worst of criminals? Do readers believe God loves the bankers who have broken the economy and spirit of the American people? Do they read a sentence and, disgusted, click away from these posts? Do the posts trigger something inside them, something that helps? I don’t really know the answer, but I confess that for these last few weeks, I have questioned my own faith in a Higher Purpose, and I now understand how people might feel lost and separate from our Creator. It’s an important insight, having nothing to do with who or what God is; it is simply a reflection of my spiritual growth process.
What is the source of my problem? I don’t know for sure. Is it the thousands of homeless people living in tents on frozen ground in our community? The escalating stress felt by my neighbors in this low-income apartment complex and how they take it out on their children? The fact that our state is a billion dollars in the hole and is planning to make severe cuts to education (when we’re already 48th in spending per pupil), cuts that include higher education, just as my daughter is preparing for college? Less funds means less students admitted. (This doesn’t include the reductions that our counties and cities have to make to their education budgets, due to loss of tax revenues and the money the state has demanded from their coffers.)
Or is it the impossible-to-grasp suffering of the Haitian people—200,000+ dead, a million homeless? Can we at all sense what it’s like to lose your parents, your spouse and/or children, your siblings and your home, your workplace, your community, food and water, in an instant? Is it because I won’t be able to watch my son play college football in the fall because the school is so far away, or that I miss him and his brother so much? I haven’t seen my red-tailed hawk friends in a while and I miss them, too—though a young one has come by a few times to say hello. Is it the state of my health, the never-ceasing pain and lack of energy and stamina? I don’t really know, but I don’t think so. It could be all of it together, I suppose—but my daughter and I have shelter, water and food, I have befriended some of the kids here who catch Max and me outside to talk, natural disasters have always happened, and nearly every state is suffering with loss of revenues. So, what is it? A test of some kind, I guess. Do I really mean what I write here? Do I apply this unconditional love to myself, my beloveds and our lives, other people, including those who don’t seem to deserve love?
Last night I visited A World of Words, a blog by Sven Eberlein, a teacher of love and truth, with a focus on the spaces between soil (ecology) and the soul (love). His latest powerful post is about the discovery of oil and what drilling for it has done to the people of Nigeria. The people live in oil; it is in their soil and food, their water, their bodies–and they don’t live long lives. Did you know Nigeria is the third largest supplier of crude oil to the people of the U.S? Eighty percent of the government’s income, 1.5 billion dollars each week, comes from this oil, yet the Nigerian people live in squalor, wading through oil from pipe breaks and oil spills, day after day after day. Try to imagine raising your children in crude oil. They have a new president, though, a man who cares about his people, and this is cause for hope. I hope you will click on the link to read the whole piece by Sven and to see the pictures. Go just to see the pictures.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I made a comment there last night that reflects my doubts:
This brought me to tears. What a piece of writing–all that info shared in a matter-of-fact manner that allows us to draw our own conclusions. But you’re right–the pictures do speak so loudly. I’m in a mood these days that makes me want to scream when I see pictures like these. I can’t fathom how this debasement of fellow humans is even possible. I feel like deleting my blog where I keep writing that God loves all of us. How could these people ever believe there is a God?
And I wanted to share Sven’s response:
Oh Pam, please don’t despair. As you know, if God only stood for the things that make us humans feel good, things would certainly look a lot differently. But God is in everything and everyone, even the things that hurt and suck. And just because God is in it doesn’t mean that it’s okay or good. In fact, it becomes even more important to try and change things, and a big part of that is to be kind. Not everyone can go to Nigeria and put out the flames, but we can show that even if we can’t directly change the situation, we care. Also, it’s important not to diminish our own problems and struggles, there’s a lot we can do to heal ourselves and those close to us. Remember the enlightened warrior, ready to do as much as possible, but never lose your heart, your spirit, or your faith in humanity. Also, on a sidenote, it seems that Mr. Jonathan truly is a good human being, and so maybe there will after all be some meaningful change to the situation in Nigeria. We’re all in this together….always remember to love!
“We’re all in this together . . . always remember to love!” Thank you, Sven. I will love even when it seems impossible, especially when it seems impossible. And by the way—your words would make a great poster. Think of what you could create with your loving heart and yours and Deb’s amazing photos!