Creating The Space Between Our Pain And Suffering with Joy
"Peace and goodwill..."
Jesus came in the midst of turmoil.
Peace isn't the absence of pain and suffering. Peace is the wholeness of well-being in the midst of our pain and suffering...in spite of it. Peace is the space we co-create between the two, between our pain and suffering.
This is the way Jesus lived his life. He was carrying the whole weight of humanity and Jesus held space for all of us.
We all have this innate capacity as human beings. But we have to choose it. We have to shift our focus out of our analytical heads into our intuitive hearts to even be able to see it's possible.
Let me tell you about Teressa
Here I am with stage 4 lung cancer and I was teaching a Sunday school class.
There was this little old mountain woman from West Virginia, thin as a rail, named Teressa who always sat on the front row.
Teressa was a pistol and challenged me on every point I made, which is a teacher's dream. She was in her nineties, and could barely swallow. She would have to go to the hospital regularly to get things opened up.
Teressa was always calling me to come over for coffee. She finally started a group Coffee With Friends.
So, here Teressa is, in constant pain, yet radiating transcendent joy. She held space for everyone between these two extremes.
I decided right then and there, that's the way I wanted to live my life.
Teressa became my hero.
So, Today, I daily learn to hold my pain in one hand and transcendent joy in the other. It creates a space between, and in that space, we create a place for all broken humanity to gather in fellowship as one.
The truth is, the mark of maturity is being able to hold peace and chaos, joy and pain, in the same moment as we allow peace and joy to prevail. Our presence speaks volumes before we open our mouth. We create a holy space between the two where others can join us, and we can join them...spirit to spirit, and heart to heart...intermingling as one.
In contemplative language, we include both and transcend them in Christ. This evolves us in Christ, not out of our humanity, but it embodies Christ within and among us.
This is the mark of spiritual maturity we see in every saint, sage, and contemplative. And we are all meant for this. No one is excluded or given a free pass. The only way is through.
Again, Peace and joy aren't the absence of pain and suffering. Peace and joy are the wholeness of well-being in the midst of our pain and suffering...in spite of it. We hold our pain in one hand and our joy in the other thus holding space for the whole world.
After all, Joy is our strength even in our weakness.
~ Bob Holmes #evolvinginchrist
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. ~Col 3:15