Monday, December 23, 2013

What Do You Want?

Mother and child. Separated. One in a mental asylum, another in hospital, both being cared for, minimally. The father does not know they are warded, let alone separated. A family of migrant workers and their babe in crisis, in dire circumstances, shunned by society, surviving purely on hope, on faith, on God's mercy through the hands of the very few listening women and men.

I heard about something like this the other day, in this present time and day, as I visited a mental asylum. It's not uncommon for some countries, where status, measured whether in wealth, in social standing, or just plainly in otherness, discriminates vehemently against the perceived poor, the supposedly underclass cretins. There's no justice, beyond that handed out by the hands of those who hoisted themselves on their own moral high chairs.
Yet, when we look back at one of the earliest families on the move I know of, that of a carpenter, and his young and supposedly pregnant out-of-wedlock bride, there wasn't much justice in store for them, before their baby was born. In fact, they were forced to move even in the time that the mother was heavily pregnant. Their fates, and seemingly that of the baby, was in the hands of persons deaf to the voice of the poor, of the other, of the absolute demands of a defenceless, powerless, fragile other, one who was deemed not able to repay in cherished kind, except only as trouble for having taken the time and effort to care.

One baby's birth changed all that. An unassuming birth changed all manner of things. Peace reigned. Silence fell. Enlightenment led the way, with or without understanding. Faith moved, with or without thinking. Any person could approach easily or overcome incredible obstacles, could understand without understanding, could give without giving - if that was all they could give. Father and mother and child, complete, at home wherever they were, for home meant being with their loved ones. 

Or is it? Only being together tends to be not enough, as a home is more than just a shelter. A home is a home - and it has the added meanings of being able to live in peace, to make a decent living, to grow, and to teach and raise up the children in the beliefs, culture, and ways that the parents believe are the best for them. This is tall order. Yet, is it supposed to be an impossible task? Are some people "not allowed" to chase after these dreams? Or are dreams and inspirations, and prophecies and visions, the things that gets one into a mental asylum, and no further?

As a matter of fact, are any of us at home at all? Are we sure of where we want to be? If we are not, do we have an idea of which direction we want to go? Or is there anything that is pushing us, directing us, guiding us, in the direction which we think is best for us?

Rich or poor, young or old, one might or might not have such a direction, such a home, such a belief that grounds every moment of their lives. The carpenter's family certainly seemed to live with that belief. Beyond some of their beliefs, they were even called to witness and to participate in something larger than one would have guessed from their humble and perilous beginnings.
As we read about what could have happened, it all seemed to end unjustly, too, for them. Only for those who believe, their journey would continue on beyond what worldly limitations normally associated with "these" people, these errant migrants. Yet all in all, signs of inherent injustice run rampant in this picture, even when including the vision of the faithful.

What can we do, then? I would suggest nothing, except to look, to wonder, to gaze upon this supposedly unjust story, this beacon that only those who want to will see, caught in the mists of time. I would suggest looking at all these things, and then some more, at the hope and the belief that these images point to.
There is no avoiding the poor, the migrant, the cast out, the other. Yet, they are not the only ones we should be looking at, when we look at these individuals, these persons who have been supposedly pushed out of life's spinning circles. There's another dimension with which we should look at them, the dimension of love, for them, for us, for the togetherness of us all.

That's the flip side, the other of injustice, which is love. And love does not move alone - love does not exist in one alone. Love is love between one and the other, that goes on to include many others, those we know well, those we do not know, and those we wish we did not know. Love, unlike injustice, or justice as we know it today, does not discriminate. All of us are called to love, to relate to one another, to get to know the other, and in that process, in being friends, lovers, and companions together in love, negate injustice, in small things, in big things, in impossible-for-I-alone things.
And isn't being in love more joyful than being unjust? Therefore, stop, wonder, acclaim (to tell yourself and your immediate neighbours it's real), and be in love. Let peace reign once more, and have a joyful, wondering, and together-with-the-other season.