May 31 – Seeing Through Another’s Eyes – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“Now, I have no choice but to see with your eyes, So I am not alone, so you are not alone.” Yanks Ritsos

There is a story of Gandhi that reveals how profound and daring his sense of compassion was. It occurred during one of his famous hunger strikes. A man who daughter was killed came in anguish, saying to Gandhi that he would stop fighting if the great soul would eat. But Gandhi knew the healing was deeper than just stopping the violence, and so he told the man he would eat only when the tormented father embraced the man who killed his daughter.

It is said that the man collapsed in tears, but did as Gandhi asked, and the larger conflict ended. This is an enormous thing to ask of someone in grief, of someone who has been violated. But beyond the vast courage needed to incorporate this kind of love into our daily lives, Gandhi’s request reveals the irrefutable wisdom that only when the broken are healed, no matter what they have done, will we as a people heal.

It is hard to comprehend how this works, yet the mystery of true forgiveness waits in letting go of our ledgers of injustice and retribution in order to regain the feeling in our heart. And so, I am forced to look into my own small life, into my own small and all consuming pains, and ask, Who am I? Why can’t I forgive thew songs done me? Why can’t I, more than forgive, being to trust again?

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