Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Naked Before Reality

"The point is that each moment of your life you're confronted with reality. And you have to do what seems to be right in that moment, but you won't know what that is until that moment happens. You can't prepare for it...that's not how it works. Life brings stuff that you're not prepared for, and then you simply have to confront the wildness of it, the madness of it, the horror of it, or the ecstasy of it." Rabbi Rami

Rabbi Rami Shapiro at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville 7/25/10

The wildness of reality is too much to bear at times which is why I believe some people turn to religion. But even when people clothe themselves with religion to guard themselves from the wildness of reality our hearts are still opened by our shared suffering.

"When you're suffering together love emerges."

1 comment:

Sammy said...

"When you're suffering together love emerges."

I absolutely love that quote. Despite all our differences in culture, language, beliefs, and whatever else, every person on this planet is united in suffering.

One of the reasons I left fundamentalist Christianity was that I felt is dismissed the suffering of everyone outside the church. "True" Christians suffered because God loved them and was strengthening their faith. Everybody else's suffering was punishment for defying God. I was even once told that I should not feel sorry for the suffering of nonbelievers, whether those still alive on this Earth or the dead being tortured for eternity in hell, since their punishment was a sign of God's justice.

Yes, my belief in God does help me deal with the reality of terrible suffering. That help doesn't come from a promise of eternal happiness in the afterlife in return for my suffering. That's not why I believe in God, nor do I believe that's the point of suffering. That help also doesn't come from a dismissal of the sufferings of non-believers as a display of God's holy justice. That's just sickening. That help comes from the fact that my belief in God has shown me how connected we all truly are, how the suffering of one of us is the suffering of all of us, and how love can ease even the worst suffering.

My belief in God does not guard my heart from the reality of suffering. It has begun to open my heart, allowing me to suffer with and love all different types of people, even those I once considered enemies.

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