There has been a lot of bad news lately – some global, some personal involving people that I love. My typical response to all of it (as maybe for many of us) is to try to make things better. I am lately finding it difficult to trust my ability to do anything and so am shifting to what some people would call “letting God be God.” What that involves sometimes looks like passivity, and it does involve surrender to what is, but it seems more sensible than being against anything which involves resistance and pushing when there is a wall in the way.
What is left when one gives up trying to fix things, it seems to me, is compassion – a feeling with others. It involves presence – physically if possible and long distance if necessary – and mindfulness of the struggles of others. It certainly could lead to action if that seems the best course, but if we unite ourselves to others who are suffering without losing a deep conviction of hope that does not necessarily depend on outcome I believe that we may find ourselves to be agents of consolation. Additionally, our own prayer may be helpful in adding light to the world.
I realize that all of this (if it makes sense at all) may elicit from some people a reaction of “easy for you to say.” I have been much blessed in my life and have not personally suffered extreme trials. When life has been difficult in some way I have been gifted with the strength of companions whose compassion truly has made a difference and helped me move on. I suppose that is the point of all these thoughts…so the conclusion may simply be for all of us to cultivate good relationships, being faithful to them and to a serious effort to develop compassion in the manner of Jesus who emptied himself of himself in love for the life of the world.