Good morning friends. I’m glad we are back together! I picture our Fridays together as a conversation over coffee and I missed spending time with you last week. But, forcing myself to rest for a while was much needed. Allowing myself some downtime gave me the freedom to spend some time with Jesus and just sit still. When I wasn’t in a comatose state, I was hiking in the mountains (Basically my version of a perfect weekend).
With the end of the weekend, reality came crashing back. I’m not sure I’ve shared with y’all much about my studies but, one of my majors is Global Studies. It’s a very broad topic but, in general, I get to study cultures and the interconnectivity of the world. Sometimes this is great. It’s fun to see how the world works and learn about different peoples. But sometimes I learn about the not so pretty things. The things we like to pretend don’t exist.
Recently, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with the state of the world. It’s hard to handle and accept the amount of brokenness we see. Things… aren’t right. Surely God doesn’t want little children to live in poverty. Surely He is against human trafficking. Surely He hates the greed and corruption that lead to the abuse of others. Right?
Since I was a child, I’ve learned about God’s goodness. I’ve written about it here actually. But, as I study the world as a whole and I understand the “whole picture,
or at least the bigger pictures, I’ve had to come to terms with this again. You see, sin messed this all up.
It has permeated every aspect of life, of nature. This isn’t a surprise to God. He knows. Jesus knew. I can’t imagine His life. He didn’t live in a pretty world. Jesus spent his time with the poor, the hurting, and the abusers. He saw the disabled and hurting. In many cases, the people He spoke to had spent their lives living in dire financial situations. He knew. He knew the world was broken. He saw the pain. He responded.
Jesus’ compassion is crazy to me. He healed people, He spoke, and He encouraged until He was physically exhausted. He didn’t leave people to their pain. He changed the lives of the abused and the abusers. He was critized for hanging around tax collectors, who often forced people to pay high taxes in order to line their own pockets. He didn’t give up on them or walk away saying they were too sinful. Rather, He entered that space.
He did something.
There’s this idea of being a “global citizen.” Put simply, that means understanding your actions have an impact globally. Where you purchase your clothes, what policies your country puts into place, ect. ect. have a global impact. No country or person is isolated unto themselves anymore.
This term isn’t a Christian one per say, but one created by experts to describe the changing landscape of the world. I think we can certainly apply it though and even extend it. Not only do our wallets and policies affect the world, but so do our actions. I am convicted again and again of my apathy. In a world of pain, it’s easy to desensitize ourselves. To stop hurting for the hurting. To stop caring for the lost and broken.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
I don’t want to look to the right now. To only look to myself. What a wasted life. I want to live like Jesus. I want to care. I want to love.
When acknowledging the state of the world, the gravity of hurt, it’s difficult to know how to respond. How does one help everyone? Where do you start?
First off, the ultimate solution to pain has already been accomplished on the cross. We cannot save people. We cannot create hope. We can only share what has been given to us through Jesus. You’re not going to solve the whole world’s pain because it’s already been solved. You can share the hope though. What a beautiful place eternity will be because of it.
C.S. Lewis said, “We do not want to merely “see” beauty-though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words-to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
What a beautiful thing. How lovely it will be when we meet beauty face to face in eternity.
I can’t tell you what you right now will be. I can’t tell you how to respond. What I can tell you, is that Jesus responded. He moved. He loved. Evaluate your reality. How can you show compassion? How can you care more? What will you do?