Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Pain, God and Injustice

Several times in my life I have faced terrible malicious harm.

There comes a point at which forgiveness lifts such a weight from the soul. Fox's advice to Cromwell's daughter to look inside for comfort ... well, I know from experience that it is the way and possible.

Once I was so hurt that I lost sight of God. I didn't even know I had lost sight of God. All that I was had been robbed from me, in that I had come to believe that I was what I did, and because of lies and liable, I could no longer do that which defined me. I was faced with injustice on a cosmic level, theft of self. An Innu friend, no sister of mine phoned. She had heard through the Indian word of mouth network, (the moccasin telegraph) that a terrible thing had been done to me. She called and said, "are you sad?" I told her, "yes, quite sad..." She said, "just come up north for a sweat." All the pain evaporated at that moment.

The hard point, the time it is hard to look inside, is when the injury is so raw that it distracts thee from the ability to look within... late at night. It is easy, so easy to have told others not to expect justice, working in law, that is a mantra. I can't tell ye how often I have told someone who wanted to sue for an injury, "don't look to the courts to give thee a sense of justice, don't look to the world for justice. Look inside thee for that perfection that does not need to balance the books of justice in thy life, and sue for the costs of the injury - and hope for the best, but justice and peace is for thee to find.

But, I cannot lie to ye, dear Friends, when an injury, an injustice happens, the weight on the heart is heavy to bear. Nights are hard, the hardest time... comments on how to set that weight aside ... to center down when darkness leaves thee alone with the burden... no platitudes... recipes for mixed drinks... jokes, easy answers... nothing we already know, like time will cure thee, of course it is easier to center down as time cures the wound... Lurkers on this blog... pull out the stops and send thy light to me...

Well here I am, like most living in the city... I want the fast road, the McFaith approach... I patiently walked a path with native friends for decades before I was invited into a sweat lodge, patient as could be... but the thorn in my foot screams take it out. Opt out for the quick solution. Come buy the big bright green pleasure machine, hypnotize away thy smoking habit.

So, I know... I've been through enough deaths of friends and family to know that faith carries thee to the time that it stops the hurt. But we are raised to solve problems. Solve the problem of pain. Well, pain is just that, pain... with all its lessons, with all its sleeplessness, it is a gift from God to tell us to heal. How hard it is to thank God for pain, but how necessary it is to thank God for the deepest hurt - without which our hand stays in the fire, we don't see the injury... we go on with blind life.

Ouch... thanks... silence



At 5:46 AM, Blogger david said...

Thank-you for sharing this.

There was a time when I knew this wisdom for myself but life beomes busy and the wisodm gets nudged out by hard knowledge and I think I'm in a place where maybe I need to know it again in myself.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Rich in Brooklyn said...

I think there is profound wisdom in this post. Thank you.

It also sounds as if some of the pain you are speaking of may be of recent vintage. If so, I pray that you receive whatever healing balm is needed.

Don't forget to reach out to your friends/Friends as needed.

- - Rich


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