This morning I’m overwhelmed by the sense of so much suffering in the world.
I say “sense” of so much suffering, because I don’t have statistics, just a feeling–a weight almost that the world and all that’s in it is staggering. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched too many news reports about too many bad things. Ebola (which grabs the headlines now and smothers reports about less-exotic cancer and heart disease and strokes and dementia). Government (which most of us agree is taking us down the wrong road and, according to the polls, is control-less and clueless ). Terrorism (which has become in the West the domain of “the lone wolf”—murders of two soldiers in Canada coupled with an apparent attempt to take out Parliament members, a beheading in Oklahoma, an axe-murder of a New York City policeman just the latest violent acts). All-out war in the exploding Middle East (which has nightmarishly climaxed the death of Arab culture, killed at least hundreds of thousands, and produced several Youtube beheadings).
I could go on with these “big time” hurts, but my thoughts turn to all the “little time” ones. The sick in hospitals, the slowly-dying in nursing homes, the broken marriages and shattered families, the unemployed, the homeless. As I write, in how many homes in my neighborhood are people weighed down with grief or loneliness or fear? In how many homes is there a disabled child or “wounded warrior”?
How do these hurting people keep going? Some, I suppose, keep going by courageously deciding they have to. What else can they do but struggle valiantly through another day? Others by hoping the government or medical community will discover a cure for terrorism or Ebola or cancer or the economy. When nobody has an answer what else can we do but hope? Others by escaping through addictions. When life is unenduringly painful (or unbearably boring) why not “run away” to drugs or sex or pornography? Still others, I presume, by believing in “God” (god?). When everything at ground level is crumbing, with what are we left except a “Higher Power“?
How do people in such pain keep going or keep hoping or keep escaping or keep trusting? How can they keep slogging through the muck of life in their own human strength? How can they hope, when that hope has no ground and is really just a fanciful wish? How can they keep retreating from reality knowing they’re just creating another kind of hell? How can they trust in a “Higher Power” who is as formless as fog?
Well, is there something more? Is there a stronger strength than the human spirit? Is there hope that’s a promise? Is there a “Higher Power” with substance and shape who has come to save us in our suffering and will return with a new painless and tearless forever-creation?
I—and our readers—would like to know your answers to the questions in the last two paragraphs. What do you say? What have you found?
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