Wednesday, October 24, 2007

HC: Burying my head in the sand, or just under the blankies...

Sometimes life is scary and upsetting. The fires in California. Global warming in general. Some guys in New York City set a homeless man on fire; he has since died. Yesterday I heard that some guys raped a disabled man...with a plumber's snake. How do you hear things like this and not want to run screaming into the arms of your mommy or the warmth and safety of your bed.

In the cases of those men who are tied for the Nazi Cruelty Award, you just have to think that they are human mutants, horribly scarred by life, or mentally damaged somehow. I wanted to run to the hospital to apologize to the burned homeless man, to tell him most of us are nice, and most of us are so sorry for what happened to him. I then heard he died and, although I'm not someone who prays, I said a little...not prayer, but thought, out to that man, saying I was so sorry he was the victim of such pointless cruelty.

As for the fires, or Hurricane Katrina, or the tsunami, other than donating money and sending positive vibes in the correct geographical direction, I don't know what to do. I have a home, jobs, and family, and can't get on a plane to help put out the fires in California. I wish I could. It's times like this I feel very powerless and very small.

I do wish that 1010 WINS and other radio stations also told of the good things that happened today, that most people got to work okay, and that thousands of nondrug taking kids went to school, and that the world goes on. But of course news like that doesn't rate the BOOM BOOM BOOM of the special "Disaster Music Theme" that 1010 WINS specializes in. Maybe it's not interesting that 49 states aren't on fire. I know we need to hear the news, and I know that news reports of "Hey, there's no fire at all in Wisconsin" would be pointless and probably dull. Still, I need to remind myself that there are a whole lot more wonderful people helping homeless men than setting them on fire. Even in the horror that is currently California, we should take a minute to be in awe that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of firefighters, rescue workers, and helpers out there, doing what they can. I'm amazed, always, that there's a special make of human that runs towards danger instead of away from it.

Maybe I'm being a Pollyanna playing the glad game, but it makes me a little more able to at least peak above my protective blanket, and continue with my day.


Patricia said...

Yes, life can be very scary and upsetting sometimes and human reason simply cannot explain the mystery of evil. How does one cope when evil strikes close to home? It could be human evil as in the case of the attacks on the poor men that you mentioned or it could be something like the sickness or death of a child or other loved one. Just about everyone will experience some level of suffering in life, some more than others and then in the end, none of us gets out alive. Life is short and very fragile. I guess this is why I am someone who prays!

The Write Bunch said...

HC replies: Do you pray for comfort, or direction, or answers? Does it help? If so, why? Thanks for commenting on the post.

Patricia said...

I pray in different ways for different things. Sometimes (actually a lot of the time) I sing, sometimes I pray with words (conversationally or formal prayers like the rosary) and sometimes I pray without words.

The best thing to do when you're feeling a little bit gloomy (or worse) is to sing praise and give thanks to the One who loves you and called you into existence; the One who is Love itself. My mother sings a lot this way and I know this form of prayer saved her from falling into depression after my father passed away almost 6 years ago. She makes up her own songs. I'm not that creative. I sing Alleluias, different verses from the Psalms or other songs like that.

When I pray with words, I'm usually praying for my family, friends or other people for things like healing, mercy, protection, etc. Life is so unpredictable and there are lots of things that you don't have control over and that can really get you down or make you worry or just make you go crazy. I'm too little to carry that load so I just ask God to take over for me and I try to let Him do the heavy lifting. That helps a lot!

It's a little bit difficult to explain what I mean by praying without words. My whole life, even from the time I was a very small child, I've had a sense of a some kind of mysterious longing inside of myself. When I pray without words, I try to quiet myself and place myself in God's presence (or become more aware of God's presence) so that I can somehow "rest" in Him. I believe this longing is the restlessness that St. Augustine of Hippo wrote of in his famous passage from his "Confessions" which goes like this: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

The Write Bunch said...

RC: The minister at the church I attend gave a sermon shortly after 911. In the midst of wonderings why and blaming finger wagging and cries of being forsaken, she said merely that God did not promise to take away pain and ugliness and terrible, unthinkable things, He promised only to be with us. . .always. I think that God is like spending time with the people in your life with whom you are most intimate (spouse, children, whoever), sometimes you need to talk, sometimes you need to listen, and sometimes you just need to be still together. I have long struggled with what prayer is. I always felt like it was just me asking for stuff. But silent prayer, that is appealing because it means I can simply travel with God trusting in the silence that he knows what I need and I don't have to ask for a thing.