I had a professor in grad school who didn’t believe in God because of the Holocaust. He was willing to listen to another’s reasoning for a God, but he just couldn’t make sense of a world with a God and a Holocaust. Funny because his mind could typically make such great leaps, but this was where he got stuck. I guess all of us get stuck when we try to figure everything out.
I followed up by phone call with some of the participants at the Jacksonville Birthing Project’s baby shower. Some of them couldn’t be reached. I’d unknowingly called a shelter, a place where these women (young girls, many of them) found themselves perhaps just as unexpectedly. My mind went to the conditions that brought them there. It’s hard to describe the feelings this brought. I guess, like my professor, I wondered why.
I wondered why.
In their worlds, did God and homelessness co-exist?
I was walking on the beach today and thought- what if everything I see is perfectly designed for me, like in that Jim Carey movie where he’s in a reality show and doesn’t know it. I thought- what if life was really like that, only the people setting the scene were divine forces? What if every shell was there for me to observe; what if every seagull, every boat and surfer and random dude walking by in a hurry were a clue, or the key to a closed door, and what if all experience were viewed from this perspective?
Hmm…Dr. Bengall couldn’t take the great mind leap, but I can. I can choose to see that everything– whether it’s judged “good” or “bad”- is seeded with potential. Just like the women in the shelters of downtown Jacksonville or the oppressed women in India and across the world are seeded; just like we all are. The struggles we face only serve to nourish the seed, to help it grow. Crisis and suffering can be trusted as much as anything else- they will always bring us to something new. Unless of course we get stuck in the Holocaust.