Monday, 1 January 2018

The Boss meets Q his spiritual director once more

The Boss and meets Q his spiritual director once again
-          Hi Q.
-          Hi Boss.
There was a short silence as the Boss relaxed somewhat into the familiar and comfortable ambience provided by Q who waited patiently and alert. The Boss sighed, Q raised an eyebrow but remained silent.
-          The thing is….The thing is, I am still troubled by those close to me having dreadful illnesses – dementia, Parkinson’s, a death by brain cancer and more.
-          Hmm.
-          Yes and, as you know, it troubles me that this happens in our world created by God.
The Boss shifts uncomfortably in his seat.
-          I know, I know, you theologians don’t talk that way anymore… but for an ordinary member of the congregation it is all God’s creation… And it feels so unfair.
-          Hmm.
-          Q stop ‘hmming’ me!
-          OK… I guess you are wanting a response?
-          I am!
-          To be honest I don’t know.
-          Oh for goodness sake!.... Next you will be telling me how mysterious God ways are.
-          True.
-          True but that is b- all use to me!
-          I’ll resist the urge to suggest that being useful to you is one of the meanings of scripture.
-          You better had!
-          OK let’s breath a bit….I now this is very painful for you (The Boss nods.) and for many others…. Can I tell you how I see it?
-          Yes please do.
-          A logical, rational reading of the scriptures and other holy texts only gets us so far. The idea that God has a hidden purpose in somebody’s suffering does not help much as far as I am concerned. I do, however, think that responding to others’ suffering can be valuable to us, as can reflecting on our own suffering. But this does not make sense to me as an explanation of suffering. What does makes sense (At this point the Boss leans forward in anticipation.) is that in moments of deep contemplation these issues do resolve for me; I am then at peace. However, when I return to ordinary consciousness I can’t find the words, the thoughts, the ideas. It’s like water slipping through my fingers. I can’t hold it. All I have is the memory of things making sense.
-          Oh, sighed the Boss.
-          Oh indeed. But perhaps we can invite that level of experiencing, of deep contemplation to happen to us… I know it is hard when we are suffering. Maybe pray for it if you like and then give ourselves some possible opportunities. Whatever seems to work for us.
-          Hmm…. Worth a try.
-          Indeed.