I don’t like watching the news. There are a myriad of reasons, but my distaste stems from the amount of death and darkness it takes to make a news program successful. For that reason, the news is rarely seen in the Platt home.
A few months ago, we turned the morning news report to check on the weather and then without thinking, walked out of the room. My six-year old continued to watch the program which reported the details of a murder that occurred in Wilkes-Barre. He immediately ran into the room I was in and was very distressed.
The scene went something like this:
L: Dad! You’ll never believe what happened!
Me: What’s up buddy?
L: Someone was murdered in Wilkes Barre! Can you believe it? What is this world coming to?
He looked at me with stunned eyes waiting for me to answer. I stood there feeling sadness. A piece of my son’s innocence had been ripped away. And I realized I was numb. My response to the news was nothing like his.
Fast-forward to yesterday when a gunman walked into a community college in Oregon and killed 10 people. As I watched President Obama speak of the tragedy I saw something I had not seen in him during his seven-year tenure. As he stood at the podium, I recognized genuine heart break. He looked as if he was going to burst into tears or throw-up.
We are numb.
God feels everything.
We are created in the image of God.
So, why are we numb?
Everyday we choose to ignore brokenness. Brokenness has roots in the helplessness we feel about the hurt and suffering in our world. Could we be so wrapped up in our own issues that we do not have time to be concerned about others? Maybe you think it is someone else’s problem and you secretly say to yourself, “Glad it wasn’t me.”
But God’s heart breaks again and again and again.
Here’s why. God created us with ability to love and give life. His act of creating this world and sustaining it with such breathtaking beauty is only the first step toward understanding his passion for you and I. It goes beyond painting us pretty pictures.
His plan was for us to care for each other and the world-but we simply look out for ourselves and reject his plan. This is how we become numb and reject our creator one more time.
The answer is, first, seek God’s heart for the brokenness around you. If you are not sure what to do about it, hook up with someone who is already making a difference. Trust me when I say those who are working to make things better are out there-and they are desperate for help.
Second, see the world through the eyes of a child. Jesus said, “… Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This is a strong indictment for those who want to ignore the viewpoint of a child. Many days I find that my kids see things through a much clearer lens. If it disturbs my son, it should disturb me.
You may say-well he’s a kid, he’ll learn. I pray he never learns to be numb to the suffering around him. I want his heart to be so aligned with God’s that it breaks and then drives him to action.
Our energy should be spent loving our neighbor. Sitting and caring for those who are marginalized. Seeing those who feel invisible and loving them unconditionally.
How? It could be through a word of encouragement.
A thoughtful gift.
An hour of just listening to their story.
A lawn mowed, or trash cans brought up from the street.
Take time today to meditate on the brokenness around you-then make a plan to fill it with life.