Today, I was discouraged. Not about the fast. About life in the US and a $$$$$ car repair bill! When I got the call from my mechanic, and he told me the cost, I literally got sick to my stomach. (Good thing it’s empty – that could have gone badly!!)
I became discouraged about figuring out how any of us get ahead with life doing its thing. But one of the greatest gifts of this fast is to remember how “bad” I have it in comparison to those women in Darfur. I turned to a daily meditation I’ve been reading for years called God Calling. And the first paragraph for today held these words: “Turn out all thoughts of doubt and of trouble. Never tolerate them for one second. Bar the windows and doors of your souls against them as you would bar your home against a thief who would steal in to take your treasures…”
I think about the people in Darfur who continue on despite monumental adversity. And I remember to stay at peace. To stay focused on what I can do, realize what I can’t control, and take action of what I want to change. I can absolutely flip out about an unanticipated expense, or realize it’s just a consequence of owning a car.
The purpose of this fast is first and foremost for the people of Darfur. But I am changing in profound ways through this – and none of it is bad.
This fast is gathering more people. There are now the following countries who have people declaring their solidarity with this movement: Albania, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, Senegal, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, UK, USA.
In all of these countries, people are pausing to look away from their issues, their concerns, their worries to say NO: genocide must not be allowed to go unabated. And so we fast. And there are many who want no publicity. Who may not have made it through the first day and had to stop. And yet in that exercise they realized how difficult it must be not to eat at all. And worse, not be able to ‘stop’ because they didn’t feel well.
I say this all the time: the people with whom I work in Rwanda change my life. They remind me of what they have overcome, and so I will overcome in my own way as well. And the car expense? Well that stinks – but it’s just money. It’s not life. It’s not food. It’s not water. It’s not safety. It’s an inconvenience. And I’ll be fine. But we continue for those that will not be fine given their challenges. We continue to fast for Darfur. And I feel strongly that it matters.