Saturday, April 16, 2011

"No Love is Lost in the Universe"

"The suffering of Jesus shows us that God is not distanced from humanity’s trials. Our Creator does not heal our suffering from afar but participates with us in it. In fact, the great revelation signified in Jesus is not only that God participates in our suffering, but also that our suffering has life-giving elements for the evolution of humanity, or what I call 'Christ consciousness' (Ephesians 4:23-24).
"The primary story line of history has been one of 'redemptive violence'; the killing of others would supposedly save and protect us. Jesus introduced and lived a new story line of 'redemptive suffering'; our suffering for others and for the world makes a difference in the greater scheme. No love is lost in the universe, but it is building up and helping to create the eternal Christ consciousness." - Richard Rohr, On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men, p. 351
This is comforting, to me. I can see how it is true, how it is working in my life, since living in the hospital and walking the cancer journey with Katie, and the grief journey since then.

Where I have been deeply wounded, compassion arises for others. Where I have suffered most, I am growing to be more loving - and better able to bear with the suffering of others. Not that this doesn't hurt - it does. Yet endurance develops from suffering, and in this world, we need endurance - and patience, love and compassion - in order to refuse bitterness, and to be able to participate in healing, and growing in love.

Growing in love is a multi-faceted thing. Growing in love with Gregg means much more than romance, more than simply finding new delights in his character and his being (although that is part of it - a fun part). Growing in love also means bearing with his grief, with the suffering that his grief process brings to him. It means patience when we grieve completely differently; waiting, with hope that our life together will be re-formed to include joy and beauty in its own time, in its own way, and not demanding that it happen right now. Growing in love with Gregg, with David, with the world, and with God means practicing acceptance of things that I don't want, in ways that I don't want them to be - because I am not in charge. It means that my love expands to embrace this life, even though there are times when I can hardly recognize what has become of the life we once enjoyed.

Love is more than "what I like," "what I enjoy," "what I receive," and "what I feel." It is a power, a gift that each of us possesses. It has more potential to transform the world for good than I ever dreamed existed, and God has given this power to each of his creatures, human and animal. Love is the only thing that I have ever been naturally good at, and, yet - I continue to learn how little I know about it and its infinite potential.
If we led with love when we did anything - everything - what kind of world could this be? Perhaps this is one way that the Creator invites our participation in His process of creation - inviting us to grow in love with it.
"No love lost in the universe" also means that our love for Katie (and for all those who have gone before) is not lost or broken - it is still working its beauty and magic, unlimited by time, space or death.


Karen said...

Beautiful. I love the last line best of all. I claim it for my own.

Karen said...

On a side note, my daughter is a realtor for Keller-Williams. Today she and her team did a pancake breakfast in our town to raise money for pediatric cancer research, and to provide swing-sets for three young patients. It was a smashing success. I thought of your Katie and you all morning, then just read that Robin's daughter was doing a similar thing today. Interesting convergence of hearts, wouldn't you agree?

Love to you and Katie.

karen gerstenberger said...

I agree, Karen - love that "convergence of hearts." Please thank her and her colleagues for me!

Elizabeth said...

This is so beautiful, Karen -- and a bit sobering for me. I feel far, far behind you and feel wonder and a bit awe-struck at the work you've done and continue to do. This post made me think of something that a good friend told me long ago: Love never dies; it just goes underground. Your being is so suffused with love, despite the loss of Katie; your writing here explains that to me --

Busy Bee Suz said...

"Lead with love"...
Love this thought. You are so wonderful.

rebecca said...

dear one,
this is a deeply moving post filled with hope and present mindfulness.
i always enjoy my sojourns here.
thank you for garcing my life.