“In many circles of spirituality, there is generous time given to testimony - the telling of the story of conversion, or re-conversion, of enlightenment or change. It is a moving thing, to listen to testimony. But testimony, if told or heard unwisely, can be a colonization of a single experience into a universal requirement. Jesus fed me when I was hungry, we hear, and those who are hungry feel bereft. Jesus healed me when I was sick, say the healthy, and the burdened feel more burdened. Meditation cured me of depression, say some, and others make plans to hide the Prozac. Upon whom is the burden of words? I don’t know. I don’t think there is an answer. I cannot dampen the gladness because it will burden the unglad. I cannot proclaim gladness as a promise that will only shackle the already bound. Faith shelters some, and it shadows others. It loosens some, and it binds others. Is this a judgement of the message or the messenger, the one prayed or the prayer prayed. I don’t know.
Hello to what we do not know.
What I do know is that it can help to find the words to tell the truth of where you are now. If you can find the courage to name “here” - especially in the place where you do not wish to be - it can help you be there. Instead of resenting another’s words of gladness or pain, it may be possible to hear it as simply another location. They are there and I am here. At another point, we will be in different locations, and everybody will pass by many locations in their life. The pain is only depended when the location is resented or, even worse, unnamed.
Hello to here.”
Pádraig Ó Tuama, "In the Shelter"