Sunday, November 23

bothered but not alone

We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
-Ray Bradbury
I've kind of been trying to avoid being bothered lately. At least, I have put myself into positions where I go through daily routines and not much more. I guess I kinda feel like I deserve to live for a little while without being bothered, but then I look at pictures like the ones I looked at this morning of refugees from the Congo and I realize again that I need to be bothered. My worship this morning was different, like I've learned it can be when I'm remembering other people and not worshiping for my own sake.

Tonight, after an introspective walk just before dusk, I was feeling like one of the boats in this picture (taken in Qingdao, China) - beached, stacked up and not doing what it's meant for. I was writing about that in my journal, not even understanding my own feelings, when my friend in California called. I got to know this friend in China and we are on the same page in so many ways. Her call came at the exact time I needed it. We talked for an hour and 17 minutes, but it just seemed like a few. I couldn't ask for anything more than a nice long talk with a friend who understands what I can't even really put into words.

Have you heard the story that Jason Upton tells about Martin Luther King Jr. in connection with his song "Not Alone"? May those of you who are feeling bothered, confused, or stuck on the beach when you're meant to be on the sea, know that you're not alone.


Kara said...

This reminded of the following quote, which I carry in my wallet -- not because I'm good at remembering it but because I need help to do so. And I think it goes for rowboats, too.

"When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for."
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Someone else has already transcribed more of her essay here:

Also, I just found that CPE has a wonderful blog online:

One Woman said...


Thanks for sharing this. I have been listening to the world news stories lately and wondering how it is that I am so disconnected from the suffering of others. What ARE we made for? Christians are made, at least in part, to bear the burdens of the community. I so often want the easy life, almost always I do, and it is a battle to be willing to suffer. Even though what I call "suffering" doesn't hold weight against all the other suffering in our town and world.