By Sean Neades, SSP Tsaile 2020 Site Director
Being the protagonists of our own stories, it is easy to get caught up in our own narrative. When we do this, we may unintentionally ignore or reject the suffering of others. In the midst of this new global pandemic, it is far too easy to focus our attention on all the ways the changes have affected our own lives: the canceled plans, the friends we miss, the luxuries we now may lack, and more.
As you reflect on ways to cultivate compassion in a time of uncertainty, begin this Spiritual Sandwich by reflecting on gratitude. Create a list of what you are grateful for.
As you cultivate gratitude in your own heart, consider these passages:
“You say, ‘I have the right to do anything.’ But not everything is helpful. Again you say, ‘I have the right to do anything.’ But not everything builds us up. No one should look out for their own interests. Instead, they should look out for the interests of others.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIRV)
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
– Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)
In times where store aisles are empty of toilet paper and other essentials, finding ourselves confined to our homes, remember those in our communities who are constantly under-resourced in everyday life.
Consider the following:
- Who does this pandemic directly impact the most?
- What means do I have to provide for those most impacted?
- What actions, small or large, can I take to protect vulnerable individuals and communities going forward?
As a part of the Sierra Service Project community, we are called to cultivate a compassionate spirit, sharing our time and resources with those in need. For the rest of the day, reflect on the resources you have at your disposal, which might be used for the benefit of those without.
Editor’s Note: Many youth groups and churches have opted to facilitate community by hosting online gatherings. However, we are also aware many youth leaders do not have the capacity or resources to arrange their own gatherings at this time. If your congregation wants to invite others in the SSP community to participate in any of your remote gatherings, contact us! We are happy to add your event to our online calendar.