My father, after reading Ma, recognized that the book was an attempt to share with the world my experience of life. He had to admit, however, that he understood it very poorly.
When my son Greg learned that I had spent almost $20,000 on publishing and marketing Ma and The Soul Comes First, he chastised me, “You’re wasting your money. They don’t care!” My response was, “I understand, and some may think that they are taking advantage of me, but it’s not just money. It’s intention, and that investment is allowing me to get close to the things that oppose the realization of my goals.”
As part of that process, I went out to meet Hugh Ross at Reasons to Believe in Arcadia. He wasn’t in that Sunday, but the presentation gave me hope that I had found a community that might understand my journey. Conceptual frameworks color our perceptions, and thus our experience of life. The presenter summarized a book that proposed criteria for assessing conceptual frameworks, and surveyed the limitations of Humanity’s most robust frameworks. Having realized that I had been allowed a perspective that reconciled many of the limitations, I tried to engage him, only to be completely rebuffed because my understanding of angels was incompatible with his.
That made me think of the Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane. As a child, I was taught that “The spirit is willing; but the flesh is weak” was a chastisement. Today I understand Jesus’ words as self-diagnosis, and recognize that the reason the Apostles slept is because to share Jesus’ struggle with him would have shattered their hearts and minds.
I don’t write about all of my experiences as I inch closer to the heart of Christ. Partly, that’s because they won’t make sense to anyone – the scientists will say that they are impossible, and the religious will reject them, citing dogma and creed. But it’s also because the experiences often aren’t fun. I was juicing oranges Tuesday morning when India’s poor landed on me, and I sobbed for several minutes with my forehead resting against the door of the kitchen cabinet.
While listening to WOW Worship Gold last night, I went in really deep. A sequence of songs reiterated the encouragement to open hearts to Christ. A flood of energy arose from mine, and I struggled with grief as the great tide of Life’s suffering pulled on it. I raised my hands to the sky and felt him reaching down to me, almost ready to surrender the sorrows of the cross. Entering into that heavenly will, my hands reached down, touching all the hands raised up from the ground.
No, it doesn’t make sense. It is just what it was.
People make better choices when they understand, but understanding is possible only upon surrendering oneself in service to needs that are insurmountable in the clothing of our Humanity. So Love, with infinite patience, watches as we take two steps forward, and then one back. With infinite endurance it suffers and heals the corruption of our self-serving. With infinite compassion it guides us to relationships that bring us strength and affirmation.
Please try to understand. Love is perfect. It is our experience that is imperfect. To offer love to the world is the only way to bridge that gap.
So this helps: the marchers in Charlotte, N.C. stopping outside the prison and shouting up to the inmates:
We see you. We love you.