Sorrow is a hard thing to reconcile within the confines of religion. Of course I found no answers for it within the bounds of atheism or agnosticism either. Last week in the midst of pain, I found myself sitting in the van sobbing, and angry. Angry at some unnameable force that had taken something precious from me. In the midst of that pain so deep that it ripped through me I wondered what kind of trickster world we lived in. I remembered the stories of Tricksters from Native American stories but in the end the Trickster always got his comeuppance. In my closed world of pain no one else was tricked. Just me.
And as I suffered, I felt a bit ashamed at my self-pity as behind little hands reached from the backseat to enclose me with love. Here I had been blessed with four little beasties so wonderful and nearly perfect. How could I blame anything for my suffering? How could I be angry when there is so much suffering in the world?
This came back to me this weekend as I saw another re post of a sign juxtaposing a picture of OWS protesters with that of starving African children. The caption chastises us by suggesting that we who are the 99% in this country are the 1% in others (a notion that has been disapproven by the way). This post infuriates me because the hidden message is that we should shut up and let our country continue on it's human destructive path of Capitalism because we have it better than other people in the world. I kept responding by pointing that silence is never acceptable no matter how small the abuse when seen in comparison to other abuses. Is it okay for us to silently not allow gay couples the same right as heterosexual couples because hey they have it better than gays in some African countries? Of course not. Just as remaining silent about the abuses of the rich in our country is not acceptable. And I also pointed that we are interconnected and the 1% that abuses power here do the same in these other countries.
As I thought about these things, I allowed myself my own small pain. No it is not big in the scheme of things but for this moment in my life it is a dark hole. And it is alright that I mourn. But it is not okay for me to lash out against those who love me and that includes God, the universe, Christ, the Buddha, whoever. There is suffering everywhere. Suffering greater than my own. I do not know why the suffering is there. Perhaps this a Mystery. Or perhaps the atheist is right and the world just destroys. It just happens without any reason or meaning. I do not know. In the face of suffering I am humbled but not immobilized and that includes my own small pains.