Monday, October 22, 2007

What would it take?

I was dreaming... on days when I'm able to get up, go to the bathroom, and go back to bed, I dream. I was at some kind of retreat or conference centered on a tragedy or disaster somewhere in Africa. There was a map of that country with outlines showing the region that had been affected. Whatever it was, it was pretty huge. (Take that outline and superimpose it on a map of our country, I didn't think that then, but I'm thinking it now.)

We, the participants, were about six or so. We had traveled in a panelled van to some remote lodge in the woods. I had joined at the last minute, not knowing exactly what we were doing, thinking "field trip" I guess. Actually there was someone else on the trip I wanted to get to know better. The facilitator had made a few presentations and was now working the room, moving from one of us to another. We chatted for a minute; I realized I had already seen at least part of the movie he was going to show next. I told him I had not actually seen the entire thing. (I had been bored.)

He lowered his gaze and asked, "So what would it take for you to get serious about this issue?"

After dinner, we were each asked to stand up on stage and speak to the others about what we had learned and what we planned to do. My mouth was still full of food as I made my way up to the microphone. I had no clue what I would say. But at the mike, I had one of those moments. I swallowed the last of my mouthful and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. I wanted to dance it, what I felt in that moment, but I only twirled once. I was on stage in front of a group of serious people finishing up their very sumptuous meal. All before me had given little speeches about how they were either writing a check that evening or were going back to their parishes to drum up money for the cause.

I spoke my truth... to his question to me, to not really being able to relate, to having enough on my hands as it was, to being a nun with no money, to my prejudices and fears, to my inability to feel their emergency, and my inability to do anything about it from only a sense of duty.

What would it take? It would take being there. It would take being kidnapped, set down in the middle of the crisis, with no way to escape. My present is my reality. My sisters' needs are my concern. I woke up with all this in my mind. Dark shadows of global crises and my ability to focus only locally.

1 comment:

HeyJules said...

But here's the deal CJ...

Without people thinking LOCALLY, nothing at home would ever get done, either.

We don't ALL have to be globally involved because we aren't all CALLED to be globally involved.

Just my opinion...