As I wrote in my previous post, I have been reading the news a lot more lately. I am starting to learn more about the Middle East, ISIS, Gaza, Israel, the Ebola virus, the Yazidis people, the Ukraine, etc. It is not that I knew nothing beforehand about some of these topics or other worldly events, but I purposefully avoided reading too much. I’m realizing that it’s a selfish decision to do that. I avoid it because it is hard to sit with. It’s unsettling. It’s unbelievable and I don’t know how to understand what these people, real people, are going through. It makes me feel small and makes everything in my life seem pointless when children in other countries are being killed and going hungry. But even this perspective is selfish, putting emphasis on my own life and how it makes me feel.
I was relieved to find that Sarah Bessey, a popular Christian blogger and author of Jesus Feminist put into words exactly what I was feeling at the exact moment I needed it. I’m appreciative of the perspective she gives and the posture she suggests to take as a Christian in the U.S.
Here is an excerpt from the post,
“We can’t willfully push away the suffering of humanity and the terribleness of the world out of selfishness and discomfort with the truth.
We can listen – truly listen – to the stories that people need to tell. Maya Angelou wrote that there is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.
We can kick against the injustices and amplify the voices of those who are suffering. We can read the prophets like Isaiah and Amos and Jeremiah. We can educate ourselves and seek to understand complexity outside of our pet sources. We can light candles and, oh, we can pray.
We can write letters and advocate. We can be teachable. We can hold space for the suffering. We can both prayerfully and practically support people and organizations who are working towards peace and shalom in the front lines. We can do that work ourselves, daily small and unsexy as it is.
We can let our children lead us back to the right response – compassion and tenderness of heart again.
In the words of Isaiah, we can sweep our lives clean of evildoings, say no to wrong, learn to do good, work for justice, help the down-and-out, stand up for the homeless, go to bat for the defenseless. (Isaiah 1:12-17)”
Read the full post here.