About all that matters in life is love and pain.
At times these two primary realities of life seem to be involved in an amazing, perverse, sickening, exhilarating, meaningful dance.
Love allows space and motive and hope and purpose for overcoming, managing, surviving, providing purpose for pain.
If you have a trained and keen eye, you'll observe the production when you watch your nightly news. It is there every time.
Someone is in deep pain.
Someone is responding with love.
We have "enjoyed" a primer on this mysterious and universal relationship during the past week as we have watched the Gulf Coast disaster.
Love shows up.
I experienced it all day yesterday.
Joining a national collaboration, I worked in and out of various congressional offices in Washington, D.C., promoting and lobbying for a employment training initiative that will make a substantial difference in the lives of those who enroll. Some will be survivors of the Katrina.
The effort we were promoting will attach students to a construction trades craftsman as apprentices. While learning hard, marketable construction skills--plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, carpentry--these students will be paid a livable wage. At completion of the training regimen, they will receive certification in a trade that will provide income in a range between $18 and $35 an hour.
My partners were drawn together by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. I listened as she addressed C-Span and the House of Representatives last evening. I was inspired.
In sharp contrast, I witnessed the speaker for the evening gavel her to silence in anger the moment her time was up. She spoke clear truth to power. She spoke out of her pain and because of her love. It was a triumphant speech about the growing number of poor people in America.
The team of people from across the country were unaffected by the behavior of the congressman who presided over the House session. They know pain as a partner. Their love transcended the momentary pain--it moved us all along. We didn't miss a beat.
I saw lots of pain as I walked to dinner after a long day. I love going to Old Ebbets Grill in the heart of DC--my favorite joint in the city.
Homeless people sleeping on the streets of the capitol of the richest nation on earth.
Pain in abundance.
I sat down outside the restaurant to buy a shoe shine from a street vendor. Here is a guy with a degree in accounting and a Marine Corps purple heart from Vietnam. We enjoyed a great conversation. He hopes to open a real shoe shop by spring next year.
Just two guys enjoying the evening and connecting.
Both of us have known and know pain.
Both of us have great capacity to love. Life is all about discovering how to live out of that love in the face of human pain.
Lots of people in this nation reside in a space defined by denial.
Pain kicks the life out of denial, if you can reach the place where it touches your heart and soul.
Love not only makes sense out of the experience of pain, love delivers us, connects us and allows us to live with meaning.
Announcement from Duke Memorial UMC
1 week ago