It was time to go. Nearly 2:45, I needed to get out of the door and down the street in a hurry to pick up my daughter from school. Kids don’t like to be last one picked up. No mom likes to be the mom who made her kid be the last one to get picked up. It’s sad and embarrassing and little disheartening for the child to stand next to your teacher peering through the door, down the street, frantically searching for a familiar face to come take you home. I am not a bad mom, no frantic searching allowed. I must be on time.
As I prepare to turn off the news to head out the door an update on the bombings in Syria roll onto the screen. Images of a man covered in dust and debris, on his knees crying, with a decimated building in the background. He was desolate. And I was late. I turned off the TV and walked out the door. My heart struck me in the face and grabbed me by the shoulders. How could I simply turn off the TV and walk out the door? How can someone else’s pain instantly recede from view? The man in Syria was indelibly wounded by the events of the day. His pain captured on camera for others to see. Yet I could escape his burden by pressing a button. I could walk out the door, into the quiet streets of my neighborhood and proceed to conquer my to-do list.
When did the world become so small? I can see you in Syria but not feel you in my heart. When did viewing of the pain of another become mundane and unsurprising? Did I desensitize myself through movies, social media, novels, newspapers? Have I allowed myself to be consoled in the fact that there is war everywhere – just a fact of life. There are people dying everywhere- the circle of life. There are homeless children and hopeless parents around the world- a sad reality. Defeat, death, deficiency…..does it really matter to me?
The daily workings of my personal life are in themselves often overwhelming. So many things to get control of, figure out, stay accountable to. If I can barely hold this small corner of life together where is the space to identify and connect with someone else in another corner of the world.
And so it began- the intentional practice of gratitude and connection. How can I live my life without thinking of others who are struggling to live theirs? I cannot. Each day I pointedly remember the man I saw on television. I remember the woman I saw pass me pushing a stroller with a crying baby while three other children walked next to her. I remember the teenager who walked excitedly and joked with her friends. I remember the look of the faces of people on the train who are focused, determined, tired but diligently pressing onward. I remember so I can stay connected to the world around me. I know that this silent connection will transform into an external expression of love.
Thank you Lord for who I am and for all I’ve been given. I will not forget gratitude and I will not forget my brother or sister. I am living in a world with others who I am called to serve and SEE.
I invite you to serve and help others. Please visit www.lifegiversintl.com and find out how you can make a difference in the lives of women and children in India.