Today I fell into a depth of sadness that sometimes threatens to drown me when I think about how much misery there is in the world and how powerless I feel to confront it. As I was giving my daughter a language arts lesson, I was surprised to find my child ministering to me.
On the board I wrote, "Noun, Adjective, Verb, Adverb" and asked her to supply me with a noun.
"Barack Obama," she said.
"OK. Now give me an adjective that describes him."
"OK. Now give me a verb that tells what he will be doing."
"Stopping the war."
"OK. So 'stop' will be our verb and "the war" will be our direct object. Now we need an adverb. How will he be stopping the war?"
She looked at me and said, "By getting help from a lot of people."
And with her words, I realized that my sadness came not merely from compassion fatigue but from my own hubris. There are no mighty saviors- just helpful people who know how to work together.