I’ve been thinking a lot about things going on in Syrian and Libya and with the refugees from those countries. I know I said part of the reason for this blog was to spend time in the world that is my home and family and not the world of the news and my job; however, while we shouldn’t spend our lives focusing on the horrors and evil in the world, we also should not forget those who are in pain and suffering. So I’m going to write this post without apologies.
There have been some pretty disturbing photos going around on social media depicting the bodies of refugee children washing ashore. Today there is debate about whether it is appropriate or respectful to post such photos. Tomorrow there will be debate about whether they are real.
But is that really what the discussion should be?
When I first saw the photos, shortly after reading about the 71 people found dead in the back of an abandoned truck, I was struck by the thought that we waste way too much time discussing and debating things on Facebook that are just not as serious as the current world crisis, and the slaughter of so many lives.
Now I see that even these horrendous photos and stories are not causing the conversations and debates that need to be happening. Rather than talk about what is happening and what can be done to help, people seem to prefer to talk about whether the photos should be shared. Bodies are washing up on shore! That is the horror. That is the only thing that is important in this story, and not whether those are the particular bodies that are washing up on shore or whether those bodies should be shared on social media. I saw the same thing happen when we brought photos of aborted children to campus in undergrad and law school. People wanted to skip over the debate about whether what was depicted in the photos was right, and just wanted to talk about the much less important question about whether the photos should be shown. This is life and death. It is not a question of propriety or an intellectual conundrum.
What should we be discussing?
I first posted that the world should stop and cry and then get up and act. But a friend posted a very important question, or really a prayer that struck me.
Lord, what is the solution? And I would add to that question, is there anything you would have me do?
Likely for me, the answer is pray, maybe give and spread awareness. Apparently, based on her Facebook posts, my absolutely amazing friend Holly is involved on a much more hands on level.
Maybe God has put something else on your heart. Yes, there are millions who are killed and abused right here at home. But I think we should ask these questions about any pain and suffering that God brings to our attention.
God, what would you have me do?
This is not a call to focus on the darkness. Let’s not focus on the bad and the darkness, but rather focus on the good and bring light to that darkness. I think Holly’s post is an excellent example of bringing light to darkness and hope to despair.
Do not be consumed by the darkness, but also, do not be distracted by frivolity. Rejoice in the Lord always. Remember, the battle belongs to the Lord, but ask Him what he would have you do. Don’t get distracted. Even David’s exhausted soldiers who got to stay behind were watching the belongings as they rested. Guard against distractions and don’t get sidetracked. Not everyone is called to action.. Some of us are called to another battle, some of us are to stay on the home front, and some of us are called to rest. But do not be distracted. People are dying, but our God is mighty to save.