The Revolution of My Heart
Ethical Stories: Mary W.
The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?—Dorothy Day
My story isn’t grand. It feels as if I’ve done nothing to change the world. I am just beginning to bring about the revolution in my own heart.
For so long, I have felt daunted in my desires to lead a life that is truly lived for others. As a young mom with two little ones at home, I struggled to believe that anything I was concretely doing in my daily life would create more justice in the world. I allowed the seeming littleness of my every day life to drown the voice inside of me that whispered, “Your love can do more.”
From trendy shirts to laptop stickers, the message proclaims : Make a difference! Change the world! Do it now! I saw the girl that started a fair trade fashion truck and longed to be like her. I read online about brave missionaries who live alongside children halfway around the world and contemplated the playdough caked under my own fingernails. I painted and wondered how my fledgling creative endeavors might be of service in this world.
Paralysis set in, and I prayed that somehow God would show me the way.
I distinctly remember scrolling through my Instagram feed one day this past spring and being stopped in my tracks by a post from the CRS Ethical Trade account.
I was preparing to launch a line of products that would correspond to a new prayer journal I was releasing. Marketing photos were edited. Product descriptions were live on the website. Ordering systems were in place. I was excited to finally open up shop!
And yet the graphic that tiny square transformed my heart in a huge way. The words of Pope Francis challenged me, “Do we truly realize that something is wrong in a world where there are so many farmworkers without land, so many families without a home, so many laborers without rights, so many persons whose dignity is not respected?”
An Opening for God
Immediately, I knew that I could not launch my shop. I couldn’t shake this conviction that I needed to ensure that my creative business was preserving, respecting, and building up the dignity of each human person. I wondered if I was crazy to consider closing up shop before I had even opened.
And then I realized that my kind of crazy might actually be an opening for God to begin a revolution in my heart.
Later this fall I’ll be launching an online shop in which my heart for justice directly speaks to the mission and vision not just of my creative endeavors but also of fulfilling a human vocation that seeks to build up the Kingdom of God.
I see myself as very much at the beginning of this journey. I’m continually learning how I can take small steps in my personal life to embrace a more ethical lifestyle. I’m bit by bit building a business in which purchasing power leads to transformation of the body, heart, and soul.
My story is still unfolding. I refuse to be paralyzed by my fear, my ignorance, or what I see as my littleness in this big world. I continue to pray for the courage to listen to my heart and to make the necessary changes in my own habits in order to live a life more authentically and prayerfully centered on the dignity of each person.
My story is the revolution of my heart.