Monday, February 4, 2008


This was given at the Trinity @ 7 service on February 3, 2008

Trinity @ 7
February 3, 2008

Can we be free if someone else isn’t?
No, let’s back up –
Where are you?
Are you hurt?
Are you hurting?
Have we learned the lesson
That distinguishes the two?

Hurt, meaning you have a wound
A pain that radiates through your self
An emotional tear
A physical scar
An injury to your psyche, to your soul
That’s been slashed open
Again & again
Your sense of self, of your own humanity
Called into question by an act
Or a system, a way of being –
This is a hurt, a wound.
Wounds can be healed,
By self, by others, with time
Wounders can change, cease their
Abrasive actions
This is a hurt.
Are you hurt?

Or, are you hurting?
Do you respond to the things around you
In the world
People’s words, their actions, pleasant or ugly
Do you, with reasoned thought
Knowledge of context and choice of compassion

Or do you react?
Blind & deaf, not bothering to clarify
Or even ask,
React, out of your own assumptions,
Your own pain or anger or fear
React out of your own hurting
Deaf to what was meant
Uncaring for one more piece of discord
Added to the world-wide strain.

Do you respond, or do you react?
Are you hurt, or are you hurting?

And do you use this information
Against yourself?
There’s one word for that:
And four more:
“It’s not worth it.”

“Do not pander,”
Says Evelyn,
“To a morbid interest in your own misdeeds.”
A wise one, that Evelyn.
“Pick yourself up,
Shake yourself,
And move on.”
She says.

And so grounded in the beginning
Of a grown understanding
Of who we might be,
And perhaps what that says
About who we could be, from now on
If we so chose,
Let’s take a look beyond ourselves
Out, into the collective consciousness
Out into the rest of the world.

You know, I was raised in a pretty literate household – I read a lot, even as a child, and I was always drawn to dramas, mysteries, and romances set in upper middle class, or even upper upper class societies around the world. There came a point when I realized, however, that the lovely literate world that seemed so vivid in my head, and that to a certain extent I saw supported in the conservative middle class suburbia in which I grew up, there came the point that I realized that most of the world didn’t live like I did. Most of the world didn’t partake in the lovely literate world constructed as in my head. In fact, a huge chunk of the world couldn’t even read, much less complete whatever schooling was available to them.

Now, this isn’t a rant.
This is perspective, where I’m coming from.
And so I ask you, even as I ask myself:
Can we be truly free
No matter how successfully we travel
Down this spiritual path
Can we be truly free, if others are not free?
And if we answer “no”
Then what is it we intend to do?

Please understand, I’m not telling you
To go save the world, single-handedly
But I am encouraging you to consider
That there’s only so much work you can do
On your own
For yourself
Before you-we-all-of-us have to
Step outside
And make a different for someone else

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