A weather front turned this warm fall day into a rainy and windy one. That was the atmosphere at the noon meeting too where one of the long timers pounded the table because he has given up, isolated and lost his spirituality over the past two months.
With pamphlets and books bouncing as he pounded, he told of feeling worthless and unloved, of being angry with God for letting his father beat his mother, and for not wanting to trust or reach out to anyone. I imagine that for others, besides me, his behavior was a reminder of unmanageability that we have acted on or experienced from others. Yet, after the meeting, he was hugged and told that he had been missed.
I know my experience of feeling less than and disliked by others comes from long ago rejections. I shared with him that I still can get caught up in a swirl of negative thinking and self-pity. What has helped me to quiet the storm within is knowing that my perception is distorted--not everyone is out to get me. They are most likely just trying to get by and may be experiencing their own moments of doubt and pain due to their shortcomings. We are so similar in our humanness because we each have been wounded by living life. Once I realize that others react because of their own set of circumstances, I understand and have compassion for our human condition. We are all struggling in some way to quiet the storms within. I hope that he will find his way.