I’m sure you have heard about the shootings at the movie theatre near Denver, Colorado. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected, as well as to their families and friends.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The human part of us often wants to know why. Why did this happen? Why were so many innocent people killed or wounded? Why was so much pain inflicted on so many?
The Sufi mystic poet Rumi said that “the eye goes blind when it only wants to see why.” Stephanie Dowrick writes that “searching for reasons why something painful has happened takes us far away from the experience itself and what it may eventually teach….Searching for reasons why keeps us looking outwards instead of inwards. It separates heart from head.”
Sometimes, the answer is, “I don’t know.” Yes, we can say that each person has their own relationship with Spirit, and is here only for the time they are supposed to be. Yes, we can say that each person’s experience was somehow exactly as it should have been. That might satisfy the logical part of us, but the feeling part of us, our hearts, often need more.
Stephanie goes on to write that “it is not through looking outwards for reasons why that you find any peace worth having. It is through going inwards to meet the truth of your feelings, the truth of your attitudes. In that place, you make a vital discovery: that where suffering lives so, too, do love and compassion.”
So what can we do? First, we can forgive. I can’t imagine what the family and friends, and the injured people in the hospital, are going through. But ultimately, through the grieving process, forgiveness plays a vital role. We can also recognize the sacredness of life. If you love someone, tell them. Let them know that you are there for them, and be aware if their attitude on life seems to change.
The temptation might be to ask “where was God when this happened?” God (Spirit, the Universe, our Higher Power) was right there in the movie theatre. We know that because where does God reside, but within us? “Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me.”