“Do you think there will be much money to send, Moshi?” I asked.
“As much as our people have to give,” said my uncle.
“And will it do any good?” I asked.
“Yes, Choona,” he said, smiling. “It already has. It has made our people face our past. It has made us feel less helpless.” (from The Long March by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick)
I love this book. It is the story of a tribe of the Choctaw Nation who heard of the Great Famine in Ireland (in which diseased potato crops led to mass starvation) and recognized their own sorrows in the stories of people dying as they roamed the country in search of food. Moved by compassion, they took up a collection of money to help the Irish. They collected $170 (which would equal about $5,000 today), giving from the depths of their own poverty to help ease the suffering of others. And although such a sum could not stop the horrors of the Famine, it was nonetheless a triumph of the human spirit, and of the Spirit of the Living God at work in the world.
What I love most about today’s quote is the recognition that giving is as beneficial to the giver as the recipient. That sacrifice can be a balm that heals our deepest wounds. That the way to repair damage caused by suffering in our own lives is to enter into the suffering of others.