Reflecting on Dt. 30: 10-14
How do we begin to respond to the many urgent charity requests in our mail every week?
Well, that gorgeous text from Deuteronomy (30:10-14) hints that it’s not so overwhelming that we should say, “Oh, the ways to help are too mysterious and remote for us. We’re going to hide and pretend we don’t know.”
My current favorite poet, Lin-Manuel Miranda, posts at least one photograph every week of some event somewhere which should touch us and break our hearts. Sometimes the caption is This happened today. Don’t look away.
But of course I do look away, often, because sometimes looking is just too terrible. But, yes, that little voice inside compels me to know what is already in my mouth and in my heart. I know what I can do, the action I can take, to help someone, somewhere. I have only to carry it out.
Last year I took the MOST fantastic class on migration at our parish. It was educational and utterly inspiring. But as we were all packing up our materials, our instructor Ann said, “Wait a minute. Nobody leaves until you’ve pledged to an action that you will take.” Gulp. You mean I actually have to DO something? Can’t I just read and watch sad videos? Isn’t being educated on migration issues enough? Her emphatic “no” alerted me that I had encountered someone who was going to actually check my homework, actually gently insist that the cost of the class is discipleship.
I’ll let Lin-Manuel have the last words: “You cannot let all the world’s tragedies into your heart. You’ll drown. But the ones you do let in should count. Let them manifest action.”
Is there a good work your heart and your mouth know you should do?
Kathy McGovern ©2019