Marvin Repinski: When it hurts, it hurts all over

Published 4:04 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

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A Jewish prayer booklet prints the following:

Eternal God, source of healing,

Out of my distress I call upon You.

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Help me to sense Your presence

At this difficult time,

You have already sent me gifts of Your goodness:

The skill of my physician,

The concern of others who help me,

The compassion of those I love.

Grant me patience when the hours are heavy;

Give me courage whenever there is hurt or disappointment.

Keep me trustful in Your love, O God.

Give me strength for today, and hope for tomorrow.

To Your loving hands I commit my spirit—

When asleep and when awake.

You are with me; I shall not fear.

Help me, O God, in my time of need.

These are words that can be prayed in many languages and in many traditions. The world, for the most part, is hurting. You are possibly hurting. I am hurting and the people of several nations, including both Ukraine and Russia are in pain, conflict, sorrow and regret, and certainly, disdain for a madness that has led to the destruction of body and soul.

“Why?” we ask.  “Why?” we ask the person next to us, perhaps working at the Hormel plant. “Why does there have to be war?” we ask a political figure.

We are in this conflict that may become global; we are all in it together. Please, be thoughtful of the others — some hurting more than we may never know. For that we can be thankful, having gratitude for our safe havens. Yet, do we not in our human correctness, bind our hearts to the thousands who suffer the tortures of an invasion of their country?

If we had the answers, would things not be different?  President Biden and our leaders at many levels are reaching out. They are making a variety of attempts to calm a raging cauldron.  Support must be given to efforts that we believe will be wisely shared and distributed to the right locations and into the right hands; into the raging torrents of destruction and negation of the best of human creation and to the families mutilated by death and torn by suffering.

Peace-seeking governments are hearing the “Come help us now!” Nations that for decades, despite their own internal issues, are grieving over the onslaught of what we may term demonic. The voices that trample on others, attempt to “erase a nation” (Putin’s words), have been spawned by the depths of evil minds. The knowledge of the forces that would obliterate a nation, is information that prompts pain, more than human discomfort for all of us.

For many of us, we give attention to what is observed the first week of Lent beginning March 2. A certain number of days, 40, are lifted out as a reminder that Jesus spent certain days embracing the suffering of others. My belief is that Jesus is not the only figure.

There are men and women in religions other than Christianity, who hurt, that spread compassion among multitudes of people throughout the world. All people know the reality of personal hurt and the hurting of others. In the mix of all of the shootings, stabbings, bombings, and afflictions, we all share these events. Yet we call forth our noble spirits, among those are what St. Paul called the “fruits of the spirit.” These benchmarks of virtue need to be embraced as the way of peace that will silence war.

In the variety of expressions of Biblical religious organizations, are the Quakers, a small but distinct group that rewards those who study their heritage and beliefs. A prominent leader of these Christians is a devoted person whom I quote from the journal of John Woolman.”

“I was informed that this mass was of human beings in as great a misery as they could be, and lives that I was mixed with, and that henceforth I might not consider myself as a distinct or separate being.”

Does it hurt?  Contemplating the wreckage that prevails on the soil of another country, is a reminder that all of us must seek the resolution of conflict.  We must live peacefully in our lives and honor and support those who bring healing to others.

The Bible.  “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and He (She?) heard my voice.”  (Psalm 18:7)