- 114.4 million people watched Super Bowl XLIX last weekend.
- The gossip site TMZ.com gets an estimated 25,000,000 unique monthly visitors.
- Kim Kardashian West has 25.6 million followers on Instagram.
Friends, it’s time to get our head out of the sand.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t watch the news and I don’t read the newspaper. It’s so depressing, especially negative news involving children. I have nightmares and I’ve had to pull over while driving because of a panic attack.
But this week I have felt especially burdened by what’s happening in our world. I can pretend that my world consists of my immediate family going about our daily activities in my little suburb in this corner of the earth – the end. But it doesn’t. My world consists of people I don’t know and places I haven’t been. My world consists of pain and ugliness and hurt and truth that I fight to ignore on a daily basis. But I can’t ignore it any longer.
A few days ago I posted this update on facebook:
“I woke up this morning in my comfy bed under my warm electric blanket after a good night's sleep. I fed my kids breakfast, kissed my husband good bye, and drove my kids to private school in my middle class minivan. I sit in Starbucks sipping my tea posting pictures of my favorite couture looks and returning emails. MEANWHILE a Japanese journalist is beheaded, a Jordanian pilot is burned alive in a cage, and a woman is buried chest-deep and stoned under Sharia law. What.The.Hell. Lord Jesus, have mercy, and help me not be complacent in the perceived safety of my smug little world.”
I’m tired of feeling helpless. I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed. I refuse to despair. But I can’t just keep going along my jolly way when in 2015 men are being burned alive and women are being stoned to death. Swallowing my tears is no longer sufficient.
Injustice is everywhere. Persecution is everywhere. And I’m not talking about, “Wah, someone called me a Bible thumper.” I’m talking Boko Haram and ISIL and Al-Qaeda.
So, practically speaking, what can we do?
- Be aware. It’s time to get our collective head out of the sand and get informed on what’s happening in the world. Visit allnewspipeline.com, dailycaller.com, therealnews.com, indymedia.org, or wn.com for non-corporate international coverage. If we don’t know what’s happening all around us, we can’t take the next steps to do anything about it.
- Open your eyes. I don’t want to see what’s really happening. I don’t want to watch the footage. I don’t want to accept the suffering innocent people are enduring. But my wants aren’t exactly important anymore. Instead of turning away, I have to take what I’m seeing and use it to motivate me toward action.
- Balance what you take in. You want to like Kim K.’s pictures on Instagram and read your gossip mags? Fine. I’m not trying to take the fun out of your life. But balance it with something real, something relevant, something that actually impacts life as we know it (whether positive or negative) and the future of our society and civilization.
- Put fear aside. Fear can paralyze it. It can overwhelm us to the point of inaction. That’s not good enough anymore. What’s happening all over the world is bad. Really, really bad. Being afraid won’t make it go away. It will only incapacitate us which in turn will put us in an extremely vulnerable and dangerous position.
- Pray. I cannot underscore the importance of praying individually and corporately. Our prayers are effective and impactful. Pray specifically and daily. Our God hears.
- Donate. Do your research and be a wise steward of your blessings. A few options: rescuechristians.org, opendoorsusa.org, and persecution.org. These organizations directly support and aid Christians being persecuted worldwide.
- Vote. I’m not as politically aware as I should be, but there cannot be any more excuses to not practice our civil duty. If you don’t like what’s happening in our country and government, your hands are not tied. There is something you can do. Your voice can be heard at the ballot box.
- Speak up and be bold. Not talking about painful things won’t make painful things go away. I want to escape reality as much as the next person (hello, Hallmark Channel), because reality can be hideous, cruel and anxiety-inducing. But the persecuted church is a REAL THING and ignoring it, or worse – speaking of it casually – is inexcusable. We have to speak boldly against injustice or we are complicit in these crimes. What good is there in throwing up our hands? How does that help the children in Nigeria or the Syrian refugees? It doesn’t.
- Stand for faith. We are all human beings and should stand for humanity. But as a Christian, I am called – CALLED – to love my neighbor, my fellow man. Will I not answer to God for how I treated (or mistreated, or non-treated) others? Jesus said we would be persecuted in His name; that we would be hated. He said we would suffer for Him. Are you suffering? The Apostle Paul tells us to put on the armor of God (Galatians 5). Then what? Do we put on our armor and then hide? We have to stand for our faith and fight. We have to speak truth, take risks, inconvenience ourselves, and stick out our necks to win souls for Christ. Because there is no doubt in my mind that we are in the battle. It’s not coming – it’s already here.
Please do something. Anything.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.