Do you wonder what kind of world this is?
A few days ago you could look outdoors and watch huge snowflakes fall in the calm air. You could see tree trunks and branches heavy with white. If you stepped outdoors, all you could hear was quiet. It was a winter day at its best.
The same day you could turn on the television and watch floods in Texas and see people wading waste deep in water in the middle of the street. You could listen to tearful victims tell how they have lost their homes. You could hear reports of how many had died.
And today—a storm in the east, hundreds of accidents, people stranded in the cold, more deaths.
Don’t you wonder what kind of world this is?
Is it the world you experience when you sit for dinner with your children and your grandchildren; when it feel s like there could be no better day in any world?
Or is it the world we read about and watch on television where innocent refugee families don’t know when they will next eat; or worse, they don’t know where the rest of their family is or even whether they are alive?
There often seems to be a great a gulf between the two worlds. The world we love to live in and seem to understand, and the world so messed up with suffering, danger and war, that you can’t get your head around it, let alone offer any empathy.
But then…what happens when you or your spouse discovers an unwelcome lump in their body where there used to be none…or when an accident brings death to your family. The worlds of peace and hurt become one world, a world of pain and confusion.
If there is a middle path, a way of living honestly in both worlds, it is hard to find.
There is this perhaps:
To live honestly in both worlds, we must accept both worlds as real.
Maybe we could relax, just a little bit, our grip on that peaceful world. Then, wouldn’t we fear the other world less? And when we step into that other, harder world, maybe we can keep a bit of that peaceful world tucked in the corner of our mind.
If we let both worlds be real to us, maybe they will inform each other. When we are very busy, our quiet world will go with us. When we are quiet, that hard world will inform our quiet world…and maybe even make us wise.
The person that is one and whole within me honors the person that is one and whole within you.