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Beside Restful Waters

by Greg Hermann

“Suffering is a universal experience occurring across space and time, revealing the

“big T” Truth that going down, going through, and going into the unknown can

be powerfully transformative.”

-Fr. Richard Rohr

Are we there yet?

Are we going down?

Are we going through?

Are we in the unknown?

I have to chuckle thinking that I am arrogant enough to believe that I have ever been in the “KNOWN”. My history of belief in a sense of the “known” and the security it brings ….. well I am finding it quite comical at present.

I have been reminiscing a lot since my retirement six years ago. I have met so many people in the various 'stages' of life, facing varieties of personal, emotional, and spiritual challenges. Many of us have all shared our scars - perspectives related to our experiences of stability and security. Through all of these memories, there is one that stands out. I have heard it many times, yet this simple statement continues to leave its powerfully deep impact: I AM NOT ALONE.


Our present experience of a pandemic health threat is leaving us with social distancing and a growing call to self-isolation in an effort to bring health - to our whole world.

How many times have we questioned our purpose? I know how often I have personally asked 'why am I here'. I cannot count how many others have asked that same question in my presence. It is obviously a question that we all ask throughout our lives. I have found a sense of peace knowing that I do have purpose, and the impact of that purpose does not have to have any apparent earth shattering impacts to carry the intent of a power greater than me. We speak of the 'ripple effect'. We notice the absence of one person from our 'circle of life'. I find these observations 'earth-shattering'.

What impact can one person have on the universe?

Today, I am writing from Maui. The first two cases of corona virus here in Hawaii came from Indiana. The impact of the presence of one person has significantly changed life here on Maui. Only a week ago, the beaches were densely populated with tourists. Today, we observed less than 50 people over a ½ mile stretch of the beach. IMPACT? For sure.

Now, we are asked to isolate. What is the impact of our universal compliance with this request? I believe that I am healthy because someone has complied with this request. Further, someone else is healthy because I am isolating. We, who are suffering the results of physical isolation, are contributing to the health of our fellow human beings throughout the entire earth. Now, look at how powerful we are.


I also recognize that we, in our states of isolation, are changing, growing, swelling, and teaching humanity, one person, group, town, …... and world at a time.

Here we are, changing history as individuals, in our connection to all the universe. We are getting it done.

We are getting 'healthy' done.

Thank you. While I am filled with gratitude, I am lonely. I miss you folks back home. Yet, there is a sacred, solemn overtone to this loneliness. I believe that this sense of the 'sacred' is the transformative energy of the “Big T” Truth. Yes, I do believe that we are the life blood of the “Big T” and we are transforming, evolving, growing..... Hmmm? My big boy pants are expanding.

How are your big person pants fitting?


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