Suffering Breaks our Hearts

hope changesWe are surrounded by news of suffering and violence. (If we are surrounded only by the news and not by the actual suffering and violence, we should be down on our knees in gratitude.)  The pain everywhere seems to be worse with every sound bite, but perhaps that’s because we are exposed to all things global so easily these days.  What do we do with all this pain?

I encourage you to read Parker Palmer’s beautiful post on this topic on the On Being website  It’s called Heartbreak, Violence, and New Life.  Here’s a taste:

Suffering breaks our hearts — but there are two quite different ways for the heart to break. There’s the brittle heart that breaks apart into a thousand shards, a heart that takes us down as it explodes and is sometimes thrown like a grenade at the source of its pain. Then there’s the supple heart, the one that breaks open, not apart, growing into greater capacity for the many forms of love. Only the supple heart can hold suffering in a way that opens to new life.

Don’t miss the Mary Oliver poem and the Reader Comments below Parker’s post. Hopefulness these days is a real discipline. Note:  If the link is broken, here’s the address:

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