What does it take to change a heart?

I was walking on a path in our neighborhood during the early evening hours. Fresh yet bright night air was brushing across my skin. Glorious mountains covered in glistening white snow captured my every view as I noticed the trees were beginning to bud. Spring is here, a time of new beginning is at hand. It seemed as though my senses were on high alert when my mind began to think of the tragedies of today. Oddly,  I found an unusual peace calming my heart. These feelings were different than those I first experienced when our community began to slow the spread.

When we were initially asked to social distance, my actions were inward-looking, perhaps selfish moments lacking in love. All that occupied my mind was the dramatic changes we would have to face, and for what? I thought. We’d had worse and hadn’t taken strong actions such as we are required to do now!

As time went on, I could see how dramatically lives were changing, that this was our moment in history to make sacrifices. I understood we are at war against an invisible enemy. Then, when President Trump stood at the podium and reported the loss of life could exceed two hundred thousand and more in our country, my heart sank! It was at that exact moment; I witnessed a change. It is this transformation I wish to share.

My change was directional. I moved from inward thinking to outward feeling. Compassion now leads my emotions as I now want to participate actively to help others. Our life changes are no longer a burden. Compassion has two root words: com- together, with others, in the company of another and Passion- to suffer, enduring, mercy. Simply put, my leading desire now is to suffer with, suffer for, show mercy, and share in enduring empathy. No longer am I feeling put out, but anxiously engaged in a cause with my fellow citizens.

On this beautiful night, as I crossed paths with others, some I didn’t know and others whom I’ve known for some time. My heart was struck each time I would pass another sensing what we are experiencing as a community. I could see on the faces of passersby, that they too held the same conviction I now enjoy! Together we will beat this scourge, this pandemic, the test of our generation. And through our efforts, lives will be saved as we learn valuable lessons of compassion.

Jaren

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