Sharing the sorrow of families in Egypt

by Mary Ann McGivern

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My heart has been caught by the sorrow and suffering of the families of the dead Egyptian demonstrators. It's been a month of killing in Syria, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, my mind says. Yes, says my heart, but just hold on to your sense of loss in Egypt.

My mind reminds me that the causes of the conflict in Egypt are many -- that Mohamed Morsi governed with bias, that the police and the utilities undermined that governance, that Islamists are attacking Christians, that the army has a history of holding the Muslim Brotherhood suspect, that --

My heart interrupts. Be still.

We make so much suffering in this world. The amount of suffering does not diminish each family's grief. This week, my heart has been more tender, more responsive to that suffering of the families in Egypt. I imagine the search through hospitals, the morgue, the mosque, hoping to find a wounded son or daughter, not a corpse. I imagine the extent of some of the wounds, the cost of care, the loss of a bread-winner, the fear for the future and the anger in the present. Again, I try to still these imaginings and simply share the sorrow.

This isn't a meditation of my choosing. My heart was caught. All I can do to help is share their sorrow and send my love into the universe.

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