Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Search for Joy, Find Peace

So. Much. Sadness.

The news out of Jerusalem this morning made me want to retreat back under the blankets and hibernate until June.

So. Much. Misery.

Watching the images this morning of another family of another aid worker murdered, made my body convulse with pain.

So. Much. Injustice.

Hearing about more social unrest in Ferguson made me want to weep.

Where do we search for comfort? Where do we find joy?

And so...

I willed my body out of bed refusing to yield to the temptation of retreat.

I saw hope in the November sunshine, even though the temperatures were clearly yelling "January!!"  

I wrenched myself onto the treadmill with willful purpose, and I ran 5K with coughing determination. I focused on every breath I took, and reminded myself that in each of those breaths was life.

I worked out in a retro camp t-shirt and recalled some of life's better days.

I listened to Melissa Etheridge and was renewed by her pulsating guitar and cut-to-the-bone lyrics.

I showered and let the hot water restore both body and soul.

I watered my plants and saw this.

Esah Einai el he-harim, me-ayin yavo ezri? 

I shall raise my eyes to the mountains, from where will my help come? (Psalm 121:1)

It comes from within. It comes from the daily miracles. It comes from an ingrained faith that things can get better. It comes from me.

This poem is by Rabbi Zoƫ Klein

If God Would Go on Sick Leave: A Poem of Peace

Nowhere is there more prayer.
The Nuns at the Holy Sepulchre.
The faithful at Al Aqsa Mosque.
The worshippers at the Wall.
The call to prayer at dawn and dusk
Warbling from the citadels.
The church bells,
The Persian trills,
The passion spilled over texts
From every major/minor religious sect.

Nowhere is there more prayer than Jerusalem,
Thanks be to God, Hamdilala, Baruch Hashem.
And yet,
I'm starting to think that it's You and not them,
God, what's the point of prayer?

If there's nowhere where
There's more prayer,
And terror reigns
Then, Who's to blame?

If suddenly, without a whisper goodbye,
Jesus, Allah, Adonai,
The three men they admire most
All took the last train for the coast,

And the Moslems got up from their knees
And the Christians put down their rosaries
And the Jews stayed their hands from kissing
Their mezuzahs,
And everyone looked up,
And realized something's missing...

God is missing.
Stop the praying! No One's there,
They'd arrange a party to search everywhere.
They'd look for God
But there'd be no Presence
In Holy Books or stars and crescents
Or steeples and crosses.
People'd be at a loss,
Is He ever coming back?

They'd be so distraught,
Their searching for naught,
There'd be nothing on high
So they'd turn to on low,
There'd be nothing above
So they'd turn to below,
And they'd finally see there,
In the face of the other,
A semblance of sister,
The eyes of a brother,
They'd turn and they'd lean
Upon one another.

You see, every group can't believe that they're the ones chosen,
Every group can't believe that the Holy Land's owed them,
Sometimes faith in You, God,
Builds insurmountable walls,
And everyone falls.
Everyone falls.

How wise are the secularists for whom the dead aren't martyred
But, quite plainly, murdered...

This might sound like an absurd,
ungodly thing to say,
A truly heretical supplication to pray,
(I say this only out of the deepest respect)
But if for a few days, God, You'd just give it a rest,
If You'd take a sick leave and just go away
And let Israel work this out without You in the way,

God, for that kind of peace,
You're a small price to pay.

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