Why The World’s Pain Is Our Pain And How To Respond
“…the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.”-Romans 8:21-24
As I shared the video of the 5 year old boy who was pulled out of the rubble from a Syrian airstrike, my heart was and is still broken. I can only imagine the pain his family is feeling and the emotional scars that child will hold on to forever. The look of confusion and fear speaks enough. We cannot live in a world that allows a child to experience this pain in their life. (Hard to watch: http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/17/world/syria-little-boy-airstrike-victim/index.html)
The crazy thing is, right now, many around the world are watching the Olympic games. These games were established to celebrate athletes from all over the world and bring countries together in competition and celebrate humanity. I have been watching these very games, making funny comments, and finding joy in the experience.
After seeing the images of the sorrow, I can’t bring myself to watch the games right now. I most likely will go back to them, but I had to turn them off for this time. I know this is not a new tragedy in Syria, this happens almost every day, but it is painful nonetheless. How can I strive for empathy if I can’t step away from what brings me happiness for a little while?
This boy’s happiness was lost. The enemy will aim to use this to steal his joy. The enemy will try to use this to steal the joy of others. I will be praying against that.
We are also witnessing thousands of people losing their livelihood due to flooding in West Virginia and Louisiana and a fire in California that is causing people to evacuate their homes and lose their businesses. A sight that is devastating and many who are going through this pain, most likely, never thought it could happen to them.
The sad part is, other people will continue to post status updates complaining about a bad Starbucks visit or a swimmer who lied, but lives have been lost and people are struggling to survive, and we can’t get past our own “issues” to empathize with others.
We distance ourselves from tragedies. We look at the photos and say, “That is sad. Poor kid.” Yet, we don’t educate ourselves on the issues or try to find ways to support organizations that are on the ground serving the people in need.
We may not be able to physically help, or may not be qualified to assist in medical care, but we can find ways to show we sincerely empathize with the pain.
We may not understand why this hurt happens. We may not be able to comprehend exactly what these people are experiencing.
However, we are all a part of the human race. Their pain affects us as a whole. Their struggle is our struggle. If our hearts break, we need to act.
You can turn away, but it does not mean the problem doesn’t exist.
Our priorities need to shift. Lift up your head from your phone and see the world around you. Seek ways to heal and help others to be restored. Find ways to spread positivity to others. Speak lovingly. Give hope. Spread peace. Share joy. Let your heart open to others.
May we recognize that the pain of the world is ours as well. May we show others that we truly care. May we be present in the lives of those who are hurting. May we experience a larger world than what we experience on a well-lit screen.
Peace and blessings friends.
HERE ARE LISTINGS OF ORGANIZATIONS HELPING IN SYRIA AND THE FLOODS IN THE UNITED STATES: