We Do Not Lose Heart

“We do not lose heart, though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Losing heart is easy. There is a lot of trouble everywhere. The nature outside us is indeed wasting away, and I’m not just talking bunions or colony collapse disorder. The renewal of our inner strength is not as hard as we imagine. We can continue to care even when we can’t cure. Often when we can’t cure, we stop caring. Instead, we can learn to love what we cannot fix.

Lucy Stone, the famous suffragette, understood. She had the chance for a small objective – women’s rights – but decided on a larger objective, supporting the 15th Amendment’s intention to give black men the right to vote. She suffered for this political expansiveness by being shunned by the other women leaders. They thought she was diluting their cause. She had the inner courage for external caring, not curing.

Listen as well to Federico Garcia Lorca: “I will always be on the side of those who have nothing and who are not even allowed to enjoy the nothing they have in peace.” Imagine the horror of corrective rape – where you are tutored out of being a lesbian by being raped – or the horror of losing the very sexual vitality you have as a young man because you are so afraid of being caught and killed. Being an ally is as important as being a fixer.

We know that we’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Doing nothing sides with the status quo. And thus we care, expansively, even when we cannot fix.

Spark our speck, O God. Renew our inner nature, day by day. Amen

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest book is Prayers for People Who Say They Can’t Pray.