She and a couple of other girls who live here have spent some time at famous home started by an even more famous nun for the dying. She described how amazed she was at quite a few other other volunteers who were so moved by the place that they basically could only stand there and cry, bringing little help to those around them. Hannah and her friends tucked in and helped with the physical needs of the sick and did their best to make them smile as well. The girls have been here long enough not to be insensitive, but to be able to put their own pity aside and be moved by real compassion to do something FOR the person.
When we first got here I cried a lot but I made sure that the objects of my pity didn't see. As one local lady told a friend of mine, "You can cry when you're by yourself but you had better not cry in front of those girls. They (girls in the trade) are not allowed to cry so neither can you." Good advice.
Our hearts still hurt for those around us but now we cry less often. Yesterday I visited with someone who had just been to a rural area where a lot of girls are trafficked to our area from and he told me horror stories of what he'd just seen there. Even though he was a foreigner like myself I found myself holding the tears until he left. It's become a habit.
Hannah and I discussed today how it's a process to get there but how it's important to have something deeper in our hearts than just being moved to tears when we see pain and suffering around us. Crying with someone who is crying can be a gift, but tears for someone in terrible circumstances who is too numb to cry themselves is not kind or helpful. It's focusing on our own feelings and our pity just makes them ashamed. True compassion moves us to focus on THEM instead.
What an amazing thing for an 18 year-old to already understand and be able to express!