Day 1: Compassion, Suffering, and Resistance

Day 1: Compassion, Suffering, and Resistance

“It is not surprising that compassion, understood as suffering with, often evokes in us a deep resistance and even protest.” 

I can’t help but come back to these words in the book “Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life” as I start day one of 25 in change.  I recognize the protest happening within my mind and body as I neglect the selfish sponge that I am, but I also recognize the deep protest within me to stand against the injustice of a silent killer. What would it be like if believers really could be collective solutions to the suffering and injustice of others?  That there could be a potential danger we are starting?  That I am starting.  I can feel that danger right before me.  The danger teetering between greed and grace.  The danger of starting a revolution.

This morning I woke up to a thick, ashy sky with soft rain weeping.  I feel this mimics my soul right now.  There is a mourning happening within.  Mourning for not doing this sooner.  Mourning for how attached I am to the pleasure and comfort of food.  Mourning for those who don’t have a choice whether they eat, or what they eat.  Mourning for my own feelings of loneliness even though 24 others are alongside me advocating and a billion others who I will never be able to fully understand their suffering and pain, but long to.

I’ve eaten my second 12 oz portion of rice and beans and already Im feeling my taste buds resist.  Although, the sense of fullness is satisfying and feels heavy inside, I find myself wanting to forgo eating all together.  Im sure by the end of this week I will look forward to the taste and texture.  I also look forward to the painful loss of a spirit of “over indulgence” that nags me and wants to start a rebellious war.

By the end of day one, my heart was full of joy again sharing a meal of beans and rice with 24 others.  Laughing over the aches and sharing in the communality of wanting to take care of widows and orphans in their distress.  The taste of love in something as simple as rice and beans is more than enough to sustain me.

~Minde Smyth

Here are some pictures taken from tonights first team meeting: