More Art from Shanti and From the Poorest of the Poor

After we ran our meditation on the powerful work among lepers in the community of Shanti Leprahilfe Dortmund in Nepal we received the following letter and photos from its founder, Marianne Grosspietsch.

Learn more about the Shanti community here.

It is so important to meditate on living stories like this—make this your lectio divina—the good news of the day amidst the harsh news.  Do not restrict lectio divina to Biblical texts alone.

Dear Rev. Matthew,

All the Shanti Family in Nepal send their very warm greetings and a big, heartfelt Thank-you for your sensitive [post] drawing attention to the wonderful creative talents of ostracized leprosy patients, of  individuals with a handicap and orphaned children at Shanti Sewa Griha. 

Sita at the loom. Photo by Marianne Grosspietsch

We read and watched your warm and appreciative meditation and we were all very moved and grateful to you – and we still are.

Our Ruby suffers from Lupus, an autoimmune sickness. She gave birth to her first daughter at the age of 14. She will not live long. Shanti will take care of her three young daughters.

Shanti children perform traditional dances to celebrate Tihar, the festival of light.

Sita is a leprosy patient from India, her husband left her, when she fell sick. Her hands and feet are badly maimed. She has been a Shanti Family member for the past 20 years. We are all impressed by her diligently woven rag rugs. These big rugs are made by our patients from textile scrap found in the garbage. The rugs cover the floor of the sleeping area  for homeless  men.

Little Pari, reading. Photo by Marianne Grosspietsch

Pari,  the daughter of mentally challenged parents loves to “read” (our youngest son Heiko, brings her up like his own child)

Dear Rev. Matthew, we all pray that the fire in your home country may soon be under control and that those in power realize, that God entrusted our beautiful blue planet to us, that we should protect it for our  future generations.

Shanti will again take part in a Climate demonstration on Nov. 29th, and we will plant more fruit trees.

May God bless all of us.
Marianne Grosspietsch

Shanti children dancing to mark the festival of light.
Photo by Marianne Grosspietsch

In meditating on work like this and workers like this around the globe one can learn where hope is to be found.  Or as David Orr puts it, “hope is a verb with the sleeves rolled up.” 

Yes, we can be grateful and proud that people like Marianne Grosspietsch and her Shanti Family are supporting one another and drawing the creativity out of one another, their sleeves rolled up.  True solidarity.

See Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion.

Banner image: The children of Shanti Sewa Griha. Photo by Marianne Grosspietsch.

Queries for Contemplation

Does learning about the success of the Shanti Family in supporting one another not awaken your sense of 1) gratitude for your own health and 2) generosity to assist those less fortunate? And 3) admiration for the powers of love and compassion that we all bear within us?

Please consider contributing to the cause of Shanti at the address below. 

Recommended Reading

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.

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3 thoughts on “More Art from Shanti and From the Poorest of the Poor”

  1. Avatar

    Ahhhh . . . the story of the Shanti family and community was deep balm to my broken heart. In this world of so much devastation to our Mother Earth and ugliness among our species, there still are places where beauty and love shine so powerfully and even through poverty, fragility, and weakness! I feel stronger to do my task.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Sylvia,
      Thank you for your comment. Is is not beautiful how the spiritual depth of one community rising from their troubles into cooperative life can inspire the same in others. May create new life and community out of our struggles just as the Shanti community has done N conspire a new way of living as humans on this earth.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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