I was holding on to this idea: the idea was that my hurt needed to be fixed at all costs.
Most of the time I wouldn’t admit that I even have this hurt. And even if you got me to admit that this hurt was lurking around… I would not have owned that this was my number one priority. When I started to recognize this… I realized that I actually want it to be everybody else’s number one priority, too.
It’s a bit of an idol, my pain.
Further, I have been operating on this idea that the number one goal of everything is to not hurt. Eradicating this pain has been this mission I have never even questioned.
There is all this power around the names of demons. I feel like that is what I am doing: naming the demons. And we are told to confess our sins. I am doing that too: confessing my sins.
A child’s faith is one where magic wands cure pain instantly, and magically. My faith is built on one who died on a cross and spent three days in hell, after he sweat his blood in fear and trepidation.
He told his followers there way was the way of pain. And he showed them by taking the evil of the world into himself, absorbing it, transforming it.
The promise is not that this is free and easy: only that it is worth it.
I think that this gets easier (not easy!) if we do this together: Let us name our pain, recognize that it is real. It is not the center of the universe. It is not God. But in some important ways, it stands between us and God. So lets walk through it together. It won’t go away just by us wishing it away. We have to travel through it.
But we don’t need to walk it alone. We can walk it together.
Even more awesome: When you read the story in context, when Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth.” He wasn’t making any claims about why we shouldn’t be a Buddhist. His followers were worried because they felt like Jesus was leaving them. They feared he would only be at their final destination, and they did not know how they would find him.
When Jesus said “I am the way and the truth” he was proclaiming that the path is the destination, that he is the path itself. The sacred is not only in the place that we want to end up: the journey to get to that place, the journey through the pain, Jesus is there with us, too.