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the pain came back

10/14/2021 10:14:34 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

The pain came back. I knew that it would, and that there is no pain medication to take it away. It is the pain of being a survivor, of witnessing the worst horror in the history of the American Jewish community, and of the daily bombardment from all around the world through newspapers, television, radio, books and movies. Once the recording starts playing in my head as I lay in bed, it is difficult to turn it off. The sound of the bullets is unmistakable, jarring, scary, and traumatizing. “Leave me alone” I insist, but that part of my brain has a different idea. Where are you God when I need you?

God: I’m here Jeffrey.

Me: Oh, I didn’t expect you to answer.

God: I’ve been sitting at the edge of your bed watching you twist and turn. I knew that it came back.

Me: Please make it go away.

God: I’m sorry, but I cannot do that.

Me: But aren’t you supposed to be omnipotent? Can’t you do anything?

God: Well, not exactly. But I am here to support and comfort you.

Me: How?

God: By reminding you that you are stronger than you think. I gave you a mission, and I need you to continue to fulfill it.

Me: But why me? I was a nobody. I had never been to Pittsburgh. Couldn’t you choose someone else?

God: I chose you, but you already knew that. There is much evil on the planet. I promised that I would not flood it again, and gave my rainbow as my bond, despite the regular temptations to not hold up my word. That’s why I need people like you to do your best to make a difference.

Me: Me? How can I make a difference? I feel so inept, so unworthy, so vulnerable, so ill-equipped, so…

God: Precisely. There are millions of good, decent people across the planet who toil in anonymity, yet make a positive difference in the lives of so many people, and they do so without ever receiving any recognition. You’ve got to continue doing the things that you are doing. When one person sees the light, you have succeeded, for then each of you can convince another. It can work.

Me: It sure is an uphill climb.

God: Yes it is, but you are not alone. Not only am I with you, but so are the many good and decent people on the planet.

Me: What do I do when it just seems too much?

God: Just call for me, like you did tonight.  I’m always here for you.

Me: Thank you God. Might I put in a good word for the NY Giants to win the Super Bowl.

God: I don’t do those kinds of miracles any more.

Me: Oh, sorry. I thought that I would try.

Sleep soon returned as I felt a peace overcome me. I was startled by the alarm clock, which reassured me that I had indeed slept a bit. I began my morning routine as I always do, with Psalm 121: I lift my eyes to the heavens; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from God, Maker of the heavens and of earth.

Thank you God.

Sun, May 22 2022 21 Iyyar 5782