I just got caught up on the story of a friend whose daughter is very sick. My email just pinged with one of our members undergoing some scary tests. Tuesday night I was shown a video depicting (graphically) the aftermath of abortions. I spent yesterday with some friends from Iran and heard story after story of how Christians are persecuted there. We’ve spent months researching the state of poverty in our world today as a staff.
I’m sitting at my desk in tears.
There’s a ton of suffering going on in the world. Those of us who belong to Jesus have a natural sympathy to the pain around us. And most of us don’t know how to handle it.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are only two options. Bury your head in distractions or let your heart-break.
I’ve spent a lot of my life having moments of heartbreak only to be followed with living with distractions. Removing reminders that others are suffering and unwillingly forgetting what I already know. We’ve all been there. It’s that commercial about starving children or dying animals that we automatically look away from. I do this mainly because the world is big and I can’t fix it all. It’s easier to live my life with my family and remember others in prayer when it comes to mind.
That is such an easy way to live. But I believe we are called to more.
I believe we are called to have hearts that break. Romans 12:15 says as much. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Several times in the Gospels it says “Jesus was moved with compassion”. The movement of compassion is the trigger that leads to action.
I think that’s the reason we distract ourselves. We know, deep down, that we can’t just impassively see suffering so we choose to ignore it. We know we can’t endure injustice so we pretend as if it isn’t happening.
We rationalize it well. “The problem is too big and I’m too small”, we may say. And we’re probably right. But Jesus didn’t call us to a life determined by our own infinitesimal abilities. He called us to a life committed to Him and lived out in faith and hope. The faith that if we do what we can, where we can; He’ll do what only He can do where we can’t. The hope that says; “I may not be able to change everything, but I CAN CHANGE SOMETHING“.
So here’s my encouragement to you (and to me) today. Let your heart-break. Don’t shut it down and don’t stifle the tears. Let them roll down your cheeks and feel deeply the pain of others. Because if we let our hearts break, then action is never very far behind.
*If you’re local to the Garner/Clayton/Cleveland/Raleigh area, I’d love for you to join us this Sunday at 10AM. We’ll be changing the world that day…don’t miss it.