I think it’s pretty ironic
That those of us never afflicted by violence
Are sick of it
And, you know, just so completely
Can the warring African countries just get it together,
Can South-siders just stop with the gun killing,
Can the drug addicted mothers stop prostituting and abusing their children,
Can a couple of rogue cops stop making America look so bad,
Can the Syrians just figure it out and stay where they are,
Because right now we are just too
Of the pain.
The discomfort and struggle
Of hearing of loss,
Of seeing people shot,
Of watching bombs destroy
From our stadium leather seats at the nightly news theater.
Right now we can’t have any peace
Because we are so disturbed by observing the gladiator games
From the sidelines.
All of a sudden the world started mattering to us
When our presumed perimeters ceased feeling safe
So we must simply build higher walls
To protect the pure race
Bullet-proof, noise-silencer, eye-censored
To make sure we aren’t so
We say, “Oh dear Lord Jesus come!”
And they say, “Oh won’t someone come!”
And Jesus says, “I’ve told them to come.”
When the privilege of safety and freedom
Becomes a defensive weapon, then we create
When the privilege of family sleeping well and full in our homes
Becomes a guarded, unshared right, then we create
One privilege a blessing, the other Privilege a curse.
For cursed is the one whose walls are bigger than their tables.
For many of us, though, who sit in a safe middle
The “kinda sorta maybe that’s not right” crowd
Need an outlet to be proud
Of joining an action-less word-fight against evil.
Because, of course, we can’t be outright distant
That would be criminal.
So we create taglines of mercy
#heartbrokenforParis, #prayforOrlando, #SyrianRefugeeCrisis
#Furguson #PhilandoCastile #PrayforCharleston
Mere empty gifts of windy sympathy.
Real compassion requires loss
Each action a cross, your soul sacrifice
Because a heart broken is more than a token word spoken
In a digital press of unaccountability.
So keep hating the pain you don’t even feel
Keep decrying the bombs that don’t shake your home
Cover your eyes and ears
And pray for the Lord to come
And safe passage into heaven.
Where thank God we won’t be so
So now what?
We all typically have 2 kinds of resources:
Both require sacrifice when it’s used outside of our own wants and needs. But to not use either speaks louder than any hashtag. However, using one of your true resources will go a lot farther in partnering with Goodness in the fight against Evil.
Choose a cause. Choose your resource. Combine the two and incite some real movement and change.
Syrian Refugee Crisis
World Relief – They have Good Neighbor programs and other refugee assistance opportunities that I’ve seen to truly make a difference and help hurting people. http://www.worldrelief.org/refugee-crisis
Read: Seeking Refuge: On the shores of the Global Refugee Crisis by Stephan Bauman
Police brutality and Black Lives Matter
Unless our public servants are held accountable to same laws and repercussions of justice as each citizen is, then our justice system will continue to silently encourage the mistreatment and killing of our black brothers and sisters.
Equal Justice Initiative is doing excellent work to defend the lives of innocent black lives and to change the injustice within the legal system. http://eji.org/
Also, google “Protest police brutality in [your city]” or just ask one of your black friends how they think you should go about protesting in the community.
Read: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Violence, poverty, and unemployment
Poverty is complex. Which is why it takes many perspectives and intellect to solve one problem at a time, empower one person at a time.
Compassion – They sponsor children to break the cycle of poverty and give communities new opportunities. http://www.compassion.com/
World Vision – They do development around the world to give fresh water, sponsor children, create jobs, and develop communities. http://www.worldvision.org/our-work
Entrenuity is a Chicago-based entrepreneurship program that helps minorities and disadvantaged start businesses and rebuild local economies. http://www.entrenuity.com/
Read: When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett
Watch: The Hidden Reason For Poverty The World Needs To Address Now, TED talk by Gary Haugan
New research shows that 47 million people are enslaved today. That’s outrageous given the fact that slavery is illegal globally. While still gaining awareness momentum, most cities, states and countries have non-profits combating this atrocity.
International Justice Mission – The largest anti-slavery organization in the world. https://www.ijm.org/
Not For Sale – Works in the US and global communities to end trafficking and also assist in job readiness and business development. https://www.notforsalecampaign.org/
Read – God in a Brothel by Daniel Walker
Watch – Nefarious Merchant of Souls, exposing the disturbing trends of modern-day sex slavery
I don’t want to appear simplistic or to appear to ignore serious issues in the culture.
But I believe that Psalm 37 will give us a good perspective and encouragement. We can only over come evil with righteousness. One day Christ will do just that. Psalm 32:12 identifies the issue along with a solution: “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for His own inheritance
Yes, it is great encouragement when it seems like evil is overcoming good. Also, Psalm 73 is hope for everyone! God will ultimately serve out justice. That being said, often Christians hold on to that as a reason to not actively get involved using their resources. And usually it’s because we can walk away without it affecting us. However, most of the world doesn’t have that privilege. So as God has given us, we get to give back. If we just see God as a means love and grace but not also justice, then it completely undermines him and his purpose. It’s quite the opportunity 🙂