Thursday, August 26, 2010

Suffering and Joy



I can't get this image out of my head. It's my sister, Miriam, holding her daughter.

Tonight I talked to an old friend who's mother is dying. Every day, her family faces the reality of losing the apex, the cornerstone, the gentle stream that is their mother.

Then I flipped through some New York Times photos of the day. Those get me every time. Who is caring for all the Somalis? Are there enough caring for all the Afghani children and earthquake, bomb and flood victims? My heart throbs and aches. My head reaches to understand.

There are so many humans to care for. And most of them, in our own very small radius of contact.

I am busy. I tell myself that I will raise my daughters to take care of people until their fingers are sore. But what if they grow too busy?

As a little girl I used to cry for people in my bed at night. I used to cry for animals. Why do people shoot deer, why do people shoot each other? How incredibly sad it made me.

I've grown up and the suffering seems so much worse on an adult scale. It depresses me. It keeps me up at night.

There is hope, of course. That's what helps me enjoy my life. And the buckets of joy in my life counter that nagging feeling that something needs to be done. But it never goes away. And I don't think it should.

5 comments:

Hannah said...

Good post sis, I wish there were an answer to the devastation, some sort of fix. Suffering makes me suffer inside, especially for the children.

Dee said...

I have one after your own heart. Zac has prayed often for people in New Orleans since hurricane Katrina and added all natural disasters since. Bless you Sarah.

Missy said...

Oh, this reminds me so much of my Political Economy of Women class at BYU. I would sit on the 4th floor of the library crying at some of the articles I read, videos I had to watch and just wonder how I can sit there and not know what more I could do.

Now, I think we are doing our responsibility, raising little ones that can be aware and work toward a hopeful change.

It doesn't make that sinking feeling go away though. I don't know that it ever will. But, I have to think (hope) that it will be made up to these children someday.

Lisa said...

Sometimes the bad in the world can almost immobilize me and that is when I despair. That was especially true when I came home after living in Romanian. I wish I had an answer for all of the pain, but I don't. Through the atonement all will be made whole and while my faith in that doesn't solve the immediate sorrow, it helps ease the despair.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned through all of this is expressed in that beautiful image of Miriam. We do not understand or comprehend the power that lies in Motherhood. I thought I did. But now to be faced with the thought of living without my Mother I know that there is nothing in this world that can compare to a mothers love.

That understanding has given me a new source of strength. The world can offer many distractions to entice my children - but it can never compete with the sacredness of my role. Motherhood holds a power that cannot be replicated anywhere else. That is empowering!

Cant wait to see next Sundays photo :)

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