A journalist wrote that with so much uncertainty, suffering and loss, it is hard even for the naturally upbeat to stay positive. Nelson suggested that carrying this heavy burden of suffering is not the debt she owes a hurting world. Rather, it is the pain of a broken heart combined with her belief in healing that enables her to be engaged. It is when her eyes are filled with wonder and her heart with love and joy, that rather than betraying her concern for the world, nourishes her capacity to attend to them. A friend tried this in a care unit which included persons with memory loss. After reading about the power of a smile, she decided to see if a smile would bring some joy to her tablemate who never said anything. Her tablemate didn’t return a smile but would look at her as if she were waiting for one.
By Lois Wedl, OSB