Just turn on the evening news and it doesn’t take you long to figure out that we’re in a world of hurt here. It seems that every time you turn around something awful is happening. Maybe it’s the heat of the summer.
Almost a month ago, my heart leaped into my throat when I heard about the bombings in Turkey. Was this the day that my baby brother was flying into Istanbul? My relief was incredible when I got a response to my text. “Yes, I’m still in the States.”
And again, the relief was sweet when he made it back with three days to spare before the coup occurred.
This isn’t the only place in the world where things are tough. Europe and South America have more than their share of troubles, and Africa’s problems have been going on for decades.
While my family felt sweet relief when we knew my brother was safe, many families learned firsthand on those days that sometimes bad things do happen to good people. Hurt, tears, and sadness became someone’s constant companion, and they’re left wondering why. This time my own family was spared, but in past years we’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death and felt evil’s clammy hands touch people we care about.
None of us are spared from hurt here on this planet. If you live long enough, you’re going to love and you’re going to lose someone you love. Politicians like to act like they can spare us from this part of the human experience, but, in reality, there are no easy answers. Life is HARD.
It’s too easy to get overwhelmed when you see a constant stream of horror flowing through your home on the six o’clock news, popping up on your Facebook feed, and auto-playing on your Internet home page. What’s the point? Sometimes it feels that the bad guys ARE winning.
But is that the whole story? Are we all just doomed to eke out a living on this planet and experience a miserable existence?
The sadness and difficulty of this world sometimes feels too big. My heart hurts for those people who are touched by evil. And there’s just not much that I can do about it. Despite what many political parties say, they really can’t do much about many of the awful things that keep happening. The solution to the world’s ills will not come from a law passed or a particular foreign policy.
So what’s the point?
I think that when the evil starts getting me down, the real solution is not to stand on a street corner with a sign. It’s not to “like” someone’s Facebook post or pass on the next popular hashtag on my Twitter account. The solution is not just to mourn the state of the world with friends.
I think the things that really will make a difference are the small things. When life gets hard, we all need to stop watching the news, turn off the computer, and get up to do something.
We may not be able to impact much of the evil that’s happening across the globe but we can do something.
We can take a bag of tomatoes to the neighbors.
We can toss a football with the grandkids.
We can offer to weed the flowerbeds of the old gentleman who lives up the street.
We can go to church and pray for the hurting.
We can stop offering pat solutions to those in difficult circumstances and just listen, and then we can give them a hug.
We can take some of those extra veggies that will go to waste because we’re so sick of processing stuff down to the homeless shelter.
We can start looking for the good in everyone regardless of their political affiliation.
We can stop blaming this group or that group for the “demise of our country.”
Basically we can choose to see the good in others. We can open our hearts and our arms to those within our reach and bless them in the way that is most accessible to us.
Not everyone can be politically active, give tons of money to a cause, or open their home to an oppressed person.
But we can do something.
And somehow, I think that if we all really focused on changing our areas of influence and doing what we can for those people around us, the world would be a better place. Of course we should vote. Of course, we should try to involve ourselves in greater causes. But we shouldn’t get down because we can’t do something “big.”
I mean, I’m just a mom. But I have to work where I am and bloom where I’m planted.
This world does have some ugly things in it. But when we obsess over the ugly, we tend to miss the beautiful.
Photo by Fotolia/highwaystarz
Open your eyes. Choose to see.
See the lovely moments in life.
See the hurting people around you and help them.
Look deeper for the reason behind why people act as they do and reach out in compassion.