Lucy and I have been studying a little bit about energy for her science class during online school. (As I study with her I realize it turns out I don’t remember one thing from 8th grade, by the way!)
We learned about the law of energy conservation a couple weeks ago which states: “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed – only converted from one form of energy to another.”
And right after that, one of Richard Rohr’s meditations spoke right to me:
“If we do not transform our pain, we will always transmit it. Always someone else has to suffer because we don’t know how to suffer; that’s what it comes down to.” (Richard Rohr)
Most people are like electric wires: what comes in is what goes out. Someone calls us a name, and we call them a name back. That is, most people pass on the same energy that is given to them. Now compare an electric wire to those big, grey transformers that you see on utility poles. Dangerous current or voltage comes in, but something happens inside that grey box and what comes out is, in fact, now helpful and productive. That is exactly what Jesus does with suffering.
It is what we can do, too, as we minister to one another.
More important than ever before in these days of division and fear.
We were reading about the beatitudes in our family devotionals last week and I have been thinking about the “higher law” Jesus Christ gave. Not an eye for an eye anymore, but the “blessing” of being able to mourn with those who mourn, of being poor of spirit. The “blessing” of being in a tough situation where we feel the world is crashing down on us.
We may never look at our mourning and suffering as “blessings” when we are in the shadows. Sometimes it takes looking back and realizing those scars have made us stronger.
And better (see “Good Timber” back HERE).
If we work on a positive transformation of the negative energy that comes our way, something miraculous can happen. When we look back, after we have crawled to a vantage point where our brains and hearts begin to work again, we realize that that “energy” that was so negative in the midst of our sorrows has actually gone through that “big, gray transformer that we see on utility poles” and has been transformed from dangerous voltage into something beautiful.
Beauty for Ashes.
(Also from Richard Rohr:) That is what Jesus did: he did not return the negative energy directed at him—not during his life nor when he hung on the cross. He held it inside and made it into something much better. That is how “he took away the sin of the world.” He refused to pass it on.
May we seek to be like those transformer boxes that take all that “dangerous” energy in, and have the ability to not lash it right back out again, which is so easy to do. Instead, may we turn the anger, the division, the pain over in our hands, in our hearts, and try to figure out how to transform it into understanding, compassion and love.
That “energy” is there…like we learned in Lucy’s science class…it cannot be created nor destroyed. But it’s negative parts CAN be converted into something else. Something beautiful.
This is not easy work. But in order to mend our country right now, we are going to need to dig in more than ever before.