by Terri Stewart (Beguine Again)

“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”
~Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Trevor Hudson, in his book A Mile in My Shoes, describes living daily life as living daily pilgrimage into the suffering of others. Life as a daily pilgrimage includes:

  • Being present,
  • Listening, and
  • Noticing

I was thinking of this as I was pondering the great tragedy that is taking place in Syria. Bodies are washing up on the shores of the Mediterranean of little children and families fleeing. It is simply horrifying. An excellent explanation of what is happening is here.

About 6 years ago, when I first started working at the juvenile detention center, I was playing cards with some boys in the detention center. As we played games, the boys were sharing their stories. One of the boys happened to be from Syria. He left Syria and moved to the states after seeing his parents murdered in front of him. He came here to live with his auntie. He could barely read or write. He was in detention for violent behavior. Imagine that. He had anger issues. I thought it was horrifying then. It seems it just keeps on getting worse.

Trevor Hudson would have us travel into the suffering as a pilgrim, not as a voyeur or as a consumer, but as a sacred journey. Being present to pain. Listening to their stories without imposing outside values. And noticing. Noticing who they are. Sometimes that is the most sacred gift of all. I think on that day years ago, for that young man from Syria, that is what he longed for. Simply to be noticed.

Maybe this Sabbath day we can take a moment and be present to those who suffer near us. Take a pilgrimage with them–a sacred journey into the heart.

Shalom,

terri

pilgrimage of the heart

5 thoughts on “Sabbath and Syria

  1. So I don’t drown in the pain of what is happening in the world I try to hold onto the larger picture of the horror that is happening.
    I believe that the sacrifice of all the refuges will ultimately contribute to the coming together of humanity – not in my life time but over many many, MANY decades.
    Just as countries, like the United States and Australia, include as it’s citizens people from all over the world we are witness to the beginning of what will lead eventually to a global blending of races and cultures to create a world where humans recognize the wholeness and connection of all.

    Countries are beginning to see the necessity to unify as one people – that this earth is our home and mankind is our “nationality”. The refugees’ sacrifice will, I believe, ultimately benefit the entire human race. It’s hard to hold onto something that most of us will not experience but it is heartening to see the embryo of one human family.

    Change is generated by pain, fear and necessity. We’ve yet to learn to do it differently but we will.

    Liked by 1 person

Discussion is welcome! Thank you ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s