This has become a place I don't come anymore. A place that when I do come, I talk about how I don't come. It's a "place" to me because I've spent time here, I've been changed here, it's a place I abandon and return to. Anymore, I only come when I am finally so burdened I don't know where else to go.
My life has changed so much since I first began writing here. Within the change, I somehow lost my purpose for this place. I suppose I still don't know what the purpose is except that it's here when my heart feels heavy.
I read Ann Voskamp's second post about Iraq last night. About ISIS selling nine year old girls in slave bazaars. Then I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about my eight and ten year old daughters. I imagined my ten year old already gone. My husband and sons, taken and being left with my eight year old and six year old little girls. I thought about how small my eight year old daughter is. She's tiny for her age. Beautiful, frail almost, bird-like. I kept thinking about Ann saying this: The United Nations reports this week that at least one young girl’s been “married” over 20 times — and forced at the end of each violation to undergo surgery to “restore” her virginity.So it could be ripped open and destroyed by the next highest bidder"
And then I can't help but think of my daughter being ripped open and I can't make my stomach not turn and I can't stop thinking about how wicked this world is.
How this can even be happening. How we're not doing anything. How I'm not doing anything. How I don’t know what to do. I just know that it doesn't seem or feel right to be living here, in cushy America, making up problems when there are real problems. And it’s true, “we aren't where we are to just peripherally care about the people on the margins as some superfluous gesture or token nicety.” There has to be a reason we’re here and not there. And I can’t believe that it has to do with luck and it certainly doesn’t have to do with any superiority of character. It can only have to do with responsibility and opportunity. Because thinking about all this, I can come up with just two scenarios: Either there’s no God and there is evil (because this evil is undeniable) and we just live out this hell on earth and wait to die, some of us with the luxury of turning away from it and ignoring its realities, others enduring the worst of it or... there is a God and there is also evil and if that’s the case…then what? Are those of us who call ourselves Christians, who believe in God and believe also that there’s spiritual warfare, just supposed to stand on the sidelines? Are we really supposed to be only joining in with and identifying with the petty concerns of the United States or are we supposed to be doing something about the fact that right now for all appearance’s sake it looks like the dark is winning? We know that evil’s current triumph is an illusion. We know Who wins. But right now. Right now, people are not just hurting but dying horrible deaths at the hand of darkness and we’re what? What are we doing? I don’t know, buying stuff, weighing in on the perceived persecutions we have to endure on this safe soil, and just sort-of generally going about our business like this is not our problem. It’s a joke. If this is not our problem, whose is it?
I don’t know the solution. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I just know that I feel “heavy.” I can’t shake off the burden of what I’m not doing. What so many of us are not doing. I rarely post this stuff but when I do, I get, maybe two “likes.” True, there’s nothing to like about the news that reports this, there’s nothing to like about the tragedy and the evil but it seems no one’s responding, either. I know they are, we are. In small ways. But sometimes, I feel like we don’t share these articles. We don’t comment on them, we don’t talk about it. I can’t help but think, we just don’t want to deal with it. We feel helpless, maybe, so we turn away. I know I do. I get bogged down with all the self-imposed crises of the day here in America: real, imagined, small and personal, national and on a bigger scale, but, still, it all seems relevant only to the here and now and then I read about what’s happening over there and I’m just broken. I can’t do anything but either shut it out or weep. And I turn away sometimes. But, then, when I don’t, when I make myself pay attention, I wonder why not everyone is paying attention. I wonder why we’re not all weeping. But, no, I’m not really calling anyone out but myself. I’m not here because I think I can say anything at all about what’s happening any better than those who are already saying it; the few voices calling out in the wilderness. I’m here because I’m calling myself out. I’m calling to my own desert places, the places that are barren and I’m sharing because I don’t know what else to do right now except be one more small voice, if only to myself.