It is easy to keep one’s head down and to ignore the tragedy in the world.
It is easy to forget the ongoing pain of those that have been destroyed by disasters beyond their control.
It is easy to critique the response to that which is deemed unjust in the world.
It’s easy. Oh, so easy.
It is hard to look at tragedy and acknowledge another’s deep pain.
It is hard to see suffering and allow oneself to step out of your comfort zone to offer a helping hand.
It is hard to acknowledge that you may not always understand the deep pain that breeds an equally painful reaction and empathize with those that are wounded.
It is hard to acknowledge that it could’ve been me.
That I could have been the one lost in a natural disaster.
That I could have been the one on the wrong side of injustice.
That I could have been so broken that my only reaction is to respond out of that brokenness.
It could’ve been me.
So, as I raise my head and look out into the world that is daily devastated by people’s pain and brokenness – whether an earthquake, a riot, a divorce, a hurricane, a shooting or a suicide – I offer this prayer, particularly for the people of Baltimore and for the nation of Nepal:
“Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
It is in dying that we are born again into eternal life.”
[Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi]