I'm not really a fasting woman. Truth be told, I think the last time that I abstained from eating out of religious observance was for Ramadan when I was in college, so I think that it's probably been awhile since I really took the time to think about the meaning of it at all.

I don't know if God hears a chorus of grumbling of stomachs and washes the people over with his mercy. I don't know if prayer can or should change the outcome of things, or if the trivial sacrifice of well fed middle class white people in America means anything to an onmipotent being who has watched murder and war and malady the world over for thousands of years. In this case, I don't know if I can even bring myself to ask God to change his mind if his mind is made up. But this Sunday, regardless, I'll be observing a fast.

Have you ever met a person only once, and that person changed you forever after?  That's how I felt about meeting Charity. She exuded grace to me, and at the time I didn't know her story at all. Now I know- that she was the grandaughter of my old boss, Tom Lantos. That she was a world class opera soprano. That she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2004. That after meeting her, she would lose her father, grandfather, and undergo a double lung transplant in a two year period. For awhile she was healthy, and glowing, and thriving. She continued to perform, and in fact this year, in the midst of transplant rejection, she gave the operatic performance of a lifetime at the Lincoln Center. And just this October, she was blessed with marriage to her long and devoted boyfriend.

She is now sedated and resting peacefully awaiting new lungs in Ohio, and while I only wish I could call her a friend, I consider myself at the least a caring citizen of Charity fandom.  What I really mean is, I know that this world is a better place when she's in it, and I so want the world to stay that way. As the Buddhists say, I will give my heart over to God for a day, but I also give it over to the people who truly know her, and love her. And if it changes the stars, so be it. That's all I have to say about that.


jordan.spain said…
I remember when you posted a video about her, and she was giving a talk and sang. She is quite a remarkable soul. My heart goes out to her and her family.

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