Thursday, April 24, 2008

I’m home and I’ll resume my recovery here. This is four weeks after I entered the hospital. Recovery is slow. I’ll be finding spiritual lessons from this for a long time to come. What touches me most deeply is the loving care and concern I’ve received from many people. I feel unworthy and helpless to adequately thank everyone.

The profusion of flowers and cards in my room prompted a visitor to comment, “You are well loved.” Yes, and I didn’t earn it. I’m grateful that the expressions of love countered the pain of major surgery, but I have to make an effort to accept love I didn’t earn. This is one lesson—that love is not earned. I hope this experience increases my own loving care and concern for others.

John Lennon’s statement spoke to me on my hospital bed: Life is what happens while we have other plans. In advance I’ll thank any reader who can give the exact quote and maybe circumstances accompanying it.

I will resume nudging Christians out of our box of assumptions, encouraging them to look at our religion from the outside in to see our place in the larger scheme of things.
Here’s a relevant quotation by Joseph Campbell: "Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble."

1 comment:

SMK said...

It can be much more than only, but not not, metaphorical. What if the religions were actually related - like each one was a sunrise. Each sunrise unique and the same. One could look at Judaism and Christianity that way - one sunrise after the next. But one can go back - just inside the Bible there's a figure of Melchisekeck who had knowledge of the One God without the trail of knowledge in the heritage in the Bible. Cyrus the Great of Persia was certainly Zoroastrian and they had values and teachings that required believers of different religions be spared and encouraged, and held by the right hand by God - and the Zoroastrians had a promised one later when the three wise men came to Jesus. They aren't just metaphors - these are relationships beyond the horizon most religions accept for their limits.

And onwards down to today it can be. It's not even just the Abrahamic religions that have these kinds of connections and relationships.

Nor are these relationships just facts - they have influences. Founders of the religions sometimes make corrective comments about the other religions as they became in their day. Jesus addressed issues in Judaism, Mohammad to Christianity, Buddha to Hinduism and so on. These are worth understanding.