THERE ARE DAYS, to tell the truth, that you just have to wonder if it’s worth it to try to live in community. It’s sort of like marriage and family life: It’s a great idea, but the reality requires more blood, sweat, and tears than anybody ever told you about ahead of time. And sometimes you just wonder.
You stir a soup pot, and it seems there are always more hungry people at the door. You open the shower line, but more hot, sweaty, dirty bodies appear the minute you’ve finished. You visit the prisoners, but for every visit there are five more unaddressed needs. You work to devise strategies to stop the death penalty, and the state just sets another execution date. You sit down to pray, but the cacophony of your thoughts and feelings won’t lie still long enough to get through a simple “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."