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小教堂里的晨祷

 

 

 

 

 

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作者Helen Hayes作为美国戏剧界的第一夫人,参演了多部百老汇,电影,电视的表演。在她60多年的演艺生涯中,曾三次获得Tony Award。她的电影作品1931年的 Sin of Madelon Claudet和1970年的 Airport(机场)都获得了奥斯卡奖。这篇文章大约在1952年发表

许多年以前,我曾经历过一场“狗狗的战役”。当时我正推着婴儿车散步,我的狗狗,一只考克●思柏纽犬跟在我脚边。此时,不知从何而来的三只狗——一 只阿富汗犬,一只圣伯纳德和一只达尔马提亚犬——出其不意地向我的狗狗袭来!它们不停地攻击甚至于想把它撕成碎片。我大声呼救。两个开车的男人停了下来, 旁观了一阵,接着又开走了。

我当时气急了!于是自己壮着胆子停止了那场“战役”。 从前的戏剧训练带给了我极大的好处——不光是我的嗓音极具权威性,而且身体姿势也够“张牙舞爪”——感觉上自己就像是一名训狮者,那些狗狗们不得不灰溜溜地逃跑了。

现在回想起来,我想我表现地与其说愤怒还不如说是意识到了只有我自己一个人,如果当时没有任何人来帮助我的话,我就只能靠自己。

人生就是要面对一连串的波折,哪怕我们不乐意。在鼓起勇气面对挫折的过程中,我曾一度自我感觉过于良好。我觉得自己相当独立,与其他人都有距离感。 我十分努力的工作并且也相当“成功”。在剧院,我得到了一个好演员应得的传统好待遇。观众们花钱来看我演戏,所以我就尽最大努力演好我的戏——不论是台上 还是台下。所以我担当委员会的委员,四处发表演说,然后得到成功的事业。但是,不知为何,我感到生活空虚极了。

当我的女儿玛莉因小儿麻痹症去世后,人人都伸出双手想要帮我,但是一开始我甚至不敢去接受任何人的帮助,就算是朋友们的爱,仿佛没有一种力量足够强大到救我脱离苦海。

当玛莉还躺在病床上时,我习惯于每天早晨去医院附近的一所小教堂祈祷。那儿是劳动阶级工人们每天都会安静地作祷告的地方。我曾对自己的宗教信仰很无 所谓。一度把上帝从生命中忽略了,所以那时我并没有勇气祈求他让我的女儿康复,而是请他让我理解他,让我能够更接近他。每天早晨我都会去祈祷,并寻求启 示,但是什么都没有改变。

多年以后,我却发现,改变的确发生了,就在那个小教堂里。我能生动地回忆起在那儿我所见过的每一个人——面带倦容的工人们和手指粗糙多节的老妇人 们。生活让他们不得不辛苦劳作,但是在这一刻他们的生命被重新注入了力量。祈祷过后,他们疲惫的面容一下子被点亮了,仿佛他们也成了上帝的一部分。我的启 示就是:突然间我意识到自己也是他们的一分子。为了满足需要,我会不断从知识中吸取力量,他们也是。我感到原来我们大家都是相互依赖,彼此共生的。那时一 股强烈的对人们的同情怜悯之感油然而生。我真正领悟到了“爱邻如爱己”的真谛。

古老而又简洁的真理就如同点亮了小教堂里那些男男女女的生命般,也点亮了我的生命。现在每当我读圣经的时候,我时常都会将耶稣,大卫以及圣保罗的关 于怎样去生活的建议当作是我最信赖朋友的忠告。他们知道生命充满了复杂的状况和各种各样的挫折,并教导我用最明智的方法去面对挫折。自救是没错,不过我肯 定不是一个远离人群独自生活的个体。这就是之前被我忽略了许久的真理:我是上帝创造的人类世界中的一员。

原作者: Helen Hayes 原文 译者: Ivyluo

A Morning Prayer in a Little Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actress Helen Hayes

Courtesy of The Helen Hayes Awards

Known as the First Lady of American Theater, Helen Hayes was a star of Broadway, movies and television. She received three Tony Awards in her 60 years on stage. Her movies ranged from The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) to Airport (1970), both of which garnered her Academy Awards.

 

“I experienced a flood of compassion for people. I was learning the meaning of ‘Love thy neighbor.’”

NPR.org, April 4, 2005 · This essay aired circa 1952.

Once, years ago, I got into a dogfight. I was wheeling a baby carriage, my pet cocker spaniel trotting beside me. Without warning, three dogs — an Afghan, a St. Bernard and a Dalmatian — pounced on the cocker and started tearing him to pieces. I shrieked for help. Two men in a car stopped, looked, and drove on.

When I saw that I was so infuriated that I waded in and stopped the fight myself. My theatrical training never stood me in better stead. My shouts were so authoritative, my gestures so arresting, I commanded the situation like a lion-tamer and the dogs finally slunk away.

Looking back, I think I acted less in anger than from a realization that I was on my own, that if anybody was going to help me at that moment, it had to be myself.

Life seems to be a series of crises that have to be faced. In summoning strength to face them, though, I once fooled myself into an exaggerated regard of my own importance. I felt very independent. I was only distantly aware of other people. I worked hard and was “successful.” In the theater, I was brought up in the tradition of service. The audience pays its money and you are expected to give your best performance — both on and off the stage. So I served on committees, and made speeches, and backed causes. But somehow the meaning of things escaped me.

When my daughter died of polio, everybody stretched out a hand to help me, but at first I couldn’t seem to bear the touch of anything, even the love of friends; no support seemed strong enough.

While Mary was still sick, I used to go early in the morning to a little church near the hospital to pray. There the working people came quietly to worship. I had been careless with my religion. I had rather cut God out of my life, and I didn’t have the nerve at the time to ask Him to make my daughter well — I only asked Him to help me understand, to let me come in and reach Him. I prayed there every morning and I kept looking for a revelation, but nothing happened.

And then, much later, I discovered that it had happened, right there in the church. I could recall, vividly, one by one, the people I had seen there — the solemn laborers with tired looks, the old women with gnarled hands. Life had knocked them around, but for a brief moment they were being refreshed by an ennobling experience. It seemed as they prayed their worn faces lighted up and they became the very vessels of God. Here was my revelation. Suddenly I realized I was one of them. In my need I gained strength from the knowledge that they too had needs, and I felt an interdependence with them. I experienced a flood of compassion for people. I was learning the meaning of “love thy neighbor.”

Truths as old and simple as this began to light up for me like the faces of the men and women in the little church. When I read the Bible now, as I do frequently, I take the teachings of men like Jesus and David and St. Paul as the helpful advice of trusted friends about how to live. They understand that life is full of complications and often heavy blows and they are showing me the wisest way through it. I must help myself, yes, but I am not such a self-contained unit that I can live aloof, unto myself. This was the meaning that had been missing before: the realization that I was a living part of God’s world of people.

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