Every waking moment, there is something new to be heartbroken about.
Watching the news feels like punishment as I struggle to find a balance of empathy and compassion for those suffering that doesn’t paralyze me.
Hate groups in Charlottesville. Hurricanes in Texas. Refugees from Syria.
Ignoring the pain of the world by turning my eyes away sends shivers of guilt down my spine, but dwelling on it can bring me into a pit of depression and hopelessness.
I could sit in a room all day and cry over the brokenness of this world. Pick your poison. Sex trafficking? Racism? Poverty? Destruction?
We are called to carry the burdens of other as believers, but the load is so enormously heavy; the headlines swirl around me as I watch helplessly, wanting to change everything but feeling like I can offer nothing.
The needs of this world are so incredibly overwhelming that sometimes I find myself doing nothing.
I tell myself it’s too much. The hurt is too big, and I am too small.
It’s paralyzing, the need of this world and as a person who would love to do everything, just doing one little act feels a whole lot like nothing. More often than I would like to admit, I have found myself allowing that to ease my guilt
But, our task in this world is not to do everything. God designed us to need to sleep and eat and rest. We have human limitations, both physical and emotional.
As the world seems to fall apart a little more each day, I think confronting the question of “What should I do?” is important, and just recently I believe I have found an answer that works for me and allows me to carry a healthy burden for the pain and suffering in this world:
The answer for me is : do something.
Always do something, never do nothing and understand I can’t do everything.
On some occasions, it may be obvious to me that I need to give financially to an area or person in crisis. I feel a tug on my heart to share my resources with those in need.
But other times my “something” might be a tear, a word and a prayer.
When there is injustice, I try to say something.
Something to someone is better than nothing to no one.
When I pass a homeless person on the street, maybe what I give that day will be a smile and a greeting, but that will be something. It might be a meal or a couple dollars. It might be a quiet prayer in my head. But that’s something.
Opportunities present themselves everyday and the magnitude of the need overwhelms me completely. I can’t do everything!
But I can do something.
Sometimes it will be big and sometimes it will be small.
Sometimes it might involve the sweet old lady with Alzheimers that can’t find her car in the Meijer parking lot because she can’t remember what it looks like.
Sometimes it might involve my credit card, and sometimes it might involve a quiet moment in prayer.
Sometimes it might fit perfectly into my schedules and sometimes it will involve giving up my time in a way that is really inconvenient.
None of those things is everything but all of them are something.
A whole lot of somethings has the power to transform even the most dire of situations.
It won’t always be big or flashy, but sometimes it might be.
You won’t always see the fruits of your labor and generosity, but sometimes you will.
It doesn’t always have an immediate impact on someone else’s life, but sometimes it does.
As opportunities to give, help and speak up continue to arise, my prayer is that I always have a heart longing to do something.
Because all of our somethings could change everything.