Saturday, September 10, 2005

Onion and Upward

I know what I feel like! I feel like all my skin has been removed so that I have nothing to protect myself.

If I feel this way then others who are THERE are pitiful, too. Like the little boy in the Shelter who had a bowl of rice krispies on his birthday. Like the elderly woman who found a piece of intact wedding china amid the debris. Like the woman who wouldn't leave her home because her dogs couldn't come with her. Like the man who let go of his wife's hand during the storm and never saw her again. My grief is real but is a puddle compared to the sorrows of those whose lives feel like a bottomless sea.

Two things: 1) When help comes to people on the Coast some will feel so odd receiving aid. Usually self-sufficent they will be surprised to be on the receiving end of help. They know how to give and help but not know how to be the needy. I cite the story of the Good Samaritan as a helpful text for them. If we read the story of the GS and put ourselves in the place of the hurt man, we see that it is often stranger who are the most help to us. Not our friends who are busy, nor the religious authorities who need flow charts to decide who gets a bottle of water but strangers who feel compassion for us. Further, learning how to receive is good for us. If we only give then we fool ourselves into believing we don't need.

2) If we trust God to be with us, that trust gives us "room" to feel what we feel. I'm not talking about multiple Drama Days or sitting around obsessing over our lot in life to the exclusion of serving others. I mean that trusting God gives us the richness in our lives to have time to be the Stranger in the GS story AND to be the injured person. Our days are in God's hands. I take Paul's (as in your Saint Paul) comment as my text for this. He said that in whatever situation he found himself in, he learned to be happy. Separated from loved ones, in a new place without directions, without a job, without a home, without possessions, in all those things he was God's and trusted God to work it out. *

*Note to self. Have now revealed that I never memorized that verse and am a stupid head unless I carry a Bible in my pocket. Hope readers recall the verse and that I haven't blown the entire meaning of it.

Tomorrow I will go worship at the United Church with Rick and Jill Edens.
Love,
St. Casserole

4 comments:

mibi52 said...

Remember Eustace Scrubb in CS Lewis' "Voyage of the Dawn Treader"? Aslan had to peel off his dragon skin ("...it hurt awfully") to reveal his true and better self. Then he went swimming in the cool water, which soothed him.

It seems you've done the opposite thing: your skin has been peeled off, but you were already pretty wonderful in your old skin, so perhaps it's even more painful. And in this case, the water has been less than soothing.

So much pain, so many sad stories. And yet we choose to live. Whether grace or stubbornness, I'm glad for it.

In a conversation with our young pregnant couple who are living in the basement, the boy said how much he didn't want a handout. He, who has next to nothing and a baby on the way. We had a long conversation about it being OK to be on the receiving end, that it doesn't make him less of a man. I hope he learns how to accept help; they're going to need it.

I am in awe of how in the moment you are (doesn't that sound obnoxiously New Age-y?) It's a gift of grace.

Bless you.

Songbird said...

But what we really love is under the skin of the onion, isn't it?
Thank you for your words today. More hugs.

Lorna said...

the picture of the skin is a scary one. thanks mibi for reminding us of the Dawn Treader - the swimming in the cool water - rather than the infected waters in New Orleans - has to be bathing in God's love.

I usually think of that love like a spa full of fragrant bubbles - but right now it's like the "avantouinti" (swimming in the frozen sea or lake- in hole in the ice) - because raw wounds - after burning or being stripped of skin - need the coolness.

St C - praying for that love to hold you comfort you encourage you and give you release from your pain, confusion and yes overwhelming sadness too

Do tell how LD is getting on at the new school - and how we can help. My daughter is 13 - and sends her a hug.

BayouMaMa2 said...

"If we read the story of the GS and put ourselves in the place of the hurt man, we see that it is often stranger who are the most help to us. Not our friends who are busy, nor the religious authorities who need flow charts to decide who gets a bottle of water but strangers who feel compassion for us."

That is so good and so true! Thanks for "stopping by" to check on me. Things are improving in my parish. How did you make out? I was thinking about you also. Blessings!