So we need places, laboratories, the creation of places which could be each one of our homes, where we invite people who are different, and we listen to each other, people of different class groups. Tell me your story. Where is your pain.
To be open enough to receive another’s pain takes a lifetime of inner work. To be present enough to sit quietly and truly listen while another tells his or her story requires first allowing ourselves to “hear” our own story, to face our own brokenness, to forgive ourselves and each other. To consent to not know the answers and to abandon ourselves, instead, to the God of poverty and mystery is to know, like Christ, that our kingdom is not of this world.
Easier said than done—but that seems to be the road. To stumble forward “acting as if.” To sing what we will to believe.
Heather King is a Catholic convert, sober alcoholic, and writer whose most recent book isSTRIPPED: Cancer, Culture and The Cloud of Unknowing. She speaks nationwide and blogs atHeather King: Mystery, Smarts, Laughs. For more, see her newAbout page.