Needing someone else’s words this morning to speak for me, I turned (not surprisingly) to my friend, Jan Phillips. In her book, No Ordinary Time, I found the reflection for Wednesday’s hour of prime perfect for a message for today. I will take it to heart and share it in the hope that others will find resonance there as well.
We live on a tectonically unstable planet. The rose doesn’t ask in a windstorm, “What did I do to deserve this?” The forest doesn’t look at the maple ripped apart by lightning and say, “God has punished it for wrongdoing.” We are the children of Holy Mystery, born of the marriage of heaven and earth. Our bodies are made of stardust and clay, our spirits are as infinite as Creation itself.
We are vulnerable and invincible, wise and wicked, generous and greedy. The line between good and evil runs from the temple to the toes of each of us. When evil occurs and drops us to our knees, all we can do is intensify our light, turn up our heat against the chill of the dark.
We do not think of God as a punishing force, as the creator of events that rob us of hope. Look instead inside yourself and ask what you can be to the ones crying out, ask where to shine your light to overcome the shadow. The mysteries of life keep us in awe and protect us from arrogance – that is their gift to us, as the gift of an ending is a new beginning. In this human lifetime, evil haunts and humbles us day and night. Catastrophes confound us, paradox surrounds us, and there is nothing for us to do but give what we can give, withhold judgment, radiate kindness, and use every sorrow as a stepping stone to love. (p. 69)
P.S. While I am not in the habit of advertising in this blog space, as a reminder for those within driving distance of Binghamton, NY: Jan will be with us at the Sophia Center on April 28-29, 2017 for a concert and workshop, the title of which is No Time for Ordinary. Save the date and watch our website for updates in the new year.