Your understanding and compassion helped me. The passing of a few days helped me. Venting to my husband and a few other trusted friends/family members helped. And a few choice words from people of great wisdom and spiritual practice helped. Here are a few of them.
Fr. Richard Rohr wrote: “ 'Thy kingdom come,' as we say in the Our Father, clearly means that the Kingdom is something that enters into this world or, as Jesus puts it elsewhere, the Reign of God 'is close at hand' (Mark 1:15, Matthew 4:17). Don’t project it onto a later world. The Kingdom of God breaks into this world whenever people act as God would act.
When that can happen in terms of structures or groups, then you have a taste of the Kingdom descending to earth. To be realistic and honest, this seldom happens with more than 'two or three' rightly gathered (Matthew 18:20). It is the critical mass, or 'leaven' and 'salt' who can and will change the world. This is Jesus' basic and first image of church, yet it is found only in Matthew’s Gospel. It is sad to say, but institutions as institutions can seldom operate at a Kingdom level, except on paper and by occasional courageous decisions. They can also educate, protect, and promote enlightened individuals, as many churches and organizations often do." - Adapted from Jesus' Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount, p. 110
Georgia O'Keefe wrote: "I got half-a-dozen paintings from that shattered plate."
Pema Chodron wrote: "It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human."
There are several lessons to learn from what happened at Bible study. One lesson is to recall with great humility and honesty that I might have taken just that sort of stance ten or 20 years ago, due to my world-view; horrible thought, but true! Another lesson is to be grateful that no one, up until now, has spoken to me in that way. Another lesson is that perhaps - just perhaps - I don't get out in "uncontrolled social situations" quite enough.
Whatever the take-away from this, thanks to you for your kindness and supportive words. May all of us (including me) learn more compassion for others!
And a reminder: tomorrow at 3:00 P.M., I'll be presenting at Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island about progress in childhood cancer research, Katie's Comforters Guild and my book, "Because of Katie." I hope you will join us!