Living in the Tragic Gap

I'm taking a course through my seminary on "Circles of Trust." The circles are based on the teachings of Parker Palmer, a Quaker. More on circles of trust in another post, but, as I was checking out the site that includes resources on circles of trust, I found this article by Parker Palmer: "The Broken-Open Heart: Living With Faith and Hope in the Tragic Gap." (

I, like many, have been heartbroken at the suffering of so many in wars around the world. Parker's words encouraged me to embrace the tragic gap. In the gap, you avoid the edges of either complete cynicism or irrelevant idealism. It's not easy, since the urge to either become numb or escape into a fantasy world are high. In the article, he also talks about what communities who embrace the tragic gap behave. Challenging, but also holding much promise.

Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.” May I have the humility to know I need God's help to live this open and to accept that help when it comes.