I don’t talk all that much about my Real Life here. Quit laughing, I’m serious. I try very hard to keep my politics and my first gut reactions out of this blog. I took on a new name to write here, and with that I’ve tried to shed a lot of who I am (I cuss and drink and spit and scratch myself in public and yell a lot), and use this persona of Sr. Mary Hasta as the model of what kind of Christian I want to be for the world. I operate under the principle that if I keep faking it, one day I’ll make it.
However, now’s not the time for soft, fluffy, rosy-cheeked-nun words. Now is the time for Sister Mary Stigmata.
Compassion is not “Oh, I’m sorry that happened to you. The same thing happened to someone I vaugely knew.”
God, in His compassion, suffered/suffers/is suffering alongside humankind. God, however, got off of Her butt and did something about our suffering. God came down from Heaven and became one of us, and showed us that there is a better way than the petty, bickering, throwing things at each other way of our ancestors, of our contemporaries, of ourselves.
God rose from the dead.
God showed us there is more than this little ball of dirt we’re spinning on, and more than the little patch of it we’ve called our own, and way more to it than how many dollars are in our credit card available balance and how nice and new our car is.
God showed us what we’re supposed to do when we see someone else suffering.
We’re supposed to try to make things better.
We’re not here to try and make ourselves ‘feel better’.
And I know, boy howdy, do I know, that sometimes the problems seem too big for one little person to fix. If you haven’t read Job lately, go back and read the first few chapters. Notice something: Job’s friends didn’t wander by and start right in with the finger pointing. They spent several days sitting in silence in the stinking, dirty trash heap with Job. They were present, they were supportive. They were community.
It was when they started saying, “You know, the same thing happened to this buddy of mine…” that they started getting into trouble.
O God, as Naomi and Ruth journeyed from one land to another seeking a home, we ask your blessing upon all who are homeless in this world. You promised to your chosen people a land flowing with milk and honey; so inspire us to desire the accomplishment of your will that we may work for the settlement of those who are homeless in a place of peace, protection, and nurture, flowing with opportunity, blessing, and hope. Amen.
—Vienna Cobb Anderson