Ask, Listen, Receive, Give

Two weeks ago I watched a documentary called “Nero’s Guests” about the astronomically high suicide rate among Hindu farmers in India.

I felt heartbroken for the family’s and overwhelmed by the immensity of the problem.  I felt compassion for the reporter who was documenting this horror and I understood his hopelessness and anger.

When it was over, I sat there, and I prayed, “How can You God, by means of me, create peace in this situation?”  I cannot do anything effective, meaningful, or lasting without God.  This situation is too big and to perverse to handle on ones own.  But I am (and you are) the agent that God works through to create change in this world.

There are many horrors in this world and within our own minds. I cannot fix it all but I cannot turn away from the suffering either.  I must turn to the God within me and around me, and ask, “What can You do, by means of me,” then I listen.

Listening in this way is done with the entire body. I listen to the anguish in India, I listen to my own fear, and I listen for God’s peace to descend upon me.  Sometimes this listening can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few years, “How can You, by means of me, alleviate this suffering?”

To receive from God I had to put away my judgments and ideas about what God wants through me.  Receiving then,  becomes a kind of refined listening, like being at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off.  Receiving is a call to action.

“Bang!” The gun’s gone off.  It’s time to give the gift that we, I, received from God, “How can You, by means of me, make this better?”

This is what I “heard.” It has been my habit to turn too quickly away from the suffering of others.  My work is to see it, take it in, give it to God.  My work is to see God as the soul and being of everyone, to erase from my mind the idea of victims and perpetrators and to see only God. My work is not to be passive but active and to assist where I can and to give what I have.  For the farmers in India, I re-joined “The Organic Consumers Association,” because part of the problem there has a lot to do with how we live here. It’s a small gesture, I know, but I have to ask myself, “What can 100,000 small gestures create?”  God only knows. God only knows.

Namaste

p.s.

Join me tomorrow, November 9th at 11:00 am, for a peace meditation service at the Redondo Beach Center for Spiritual Living.

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