February Peace Vespers
Speaking only for myself, the more that I suffer, the more I am able to feel compassion for the suffering of others. The deeper my sorrow, the softer my heart, the next time I see a teardrop fall.
Each new *kind* of suffering I experience—-losing a job, losing a loved one, undergoing surgery, treating another harshly, and hearing my own words echo in my head—-each new type of suffering opens my soul a little wider to the many ways that my fellow human cousins are brought low by the circumstances of their lives.
And, the longer I live, and the more sorrow that I see (in my own life and in others’), the more I see compassion and human decency.
I do not pretend that this creates some kind of balance; it would be obscene to suggest that every crushing blow and grievous injustice is somehow remedied because a child pulled a thorn from a pet rabbit’s paw, or a shopper let another person go ahead in the checkout line.
…and yet…because injustice and hatred and fear and sorrow and oppression *are* so prevalent, it is refreshing to see the uncommon act of common courtesy.
I believe that we humans have a remarkable amount of tenacity and courage and plain old stubbornness.
And, for whatever reason, or from whatever source—-by a thousand names we call it, from the depths of our grief we gasp it and in the moments of our liberation, we shout it—-however it happens, sometimes, as we are walking along, the heavens break open and love comes down.
Sometimes, my heart lifts and I feel joy. Sometimes, my heart yearns and I share that joy, that strength, that peace with another who needs it.
And *that* is the miracle that we come to celebrate, tonight. If we need healing, may we find it. If we need strength, may we feel it. If we need direction, may it be made obvious which person we are meant to help, next.
So may we be.