Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On Nigeria and Not Looking Away

I wasn't planning to post about slavery and justice and hard stuff that I don't know what to do about tonight.
I wasn't planning to talk about Nigeria and school girls and terrorist kidnappers and abductions.
I wasn't.

But I am.

Even though I do not know what to tell you to think or say or do about it. Even though I cannot think of any possible way we can help this specific situation right now. I am going to make sure I put it before your eyes. Because I have an all too familiar ache in my stomach.

As I read head lines and shared stories tonight and wished the world would wake up from its sleepy acceptance of horrors as far-away issues that have little to do with us, I realized that I had to speak in some way.

Because girls should be able to celebrate making it to the day they sit for their final exams in school with a Coke and shared giggles. They should not be kidnapped in a mass raid by terrorists that have long threatened their region. They should not sit at home afraid that an education may cost them the little freedom they have.

But that is happening, people. Tonight. In your world. In your global neighborhood.

I was going to share all the links here for you to click over and read. But you know what. I'm not. You do it. Google it. Read it. Educate yourself. I'm laying down a challenge. If you don't know what I am talking about, make it your responsibility to find out.

After that, I am not sure what to tell you to do next. Heck, I am typing red-faced fury into the keyboard because I don't know what else to do.

But you know what? I am tired of us ignoring injustice because we can't fix it, because we can't impose a comfortable solution and walk away, raise a little cash and throw it at a problem. And when we can't, squirming uncomfortably and shuffling our feet quietly over to the next conversation.

If we are going to be justice walkers and mercy lovers and freedom fighters, we've got to learn to sit and suffer in the hard stuff. The stuff for which there is no easy fix.

We have to acknowledge the gut-wrenching realities of rape and incest and trafficking and slavery and orphans and AIDS epidemics and tornadoes and floods and our ineptitude in it all and just sit in that brokenness, bleeding sweat if it is all that we can do. But caring passionately enough about the broken ugliness of our world that at the very least its sweat and tears and desperate prayers are worth are our company.

Let us not fall into lazy slumber at the world's agony. At a school girl's agony. At her mother's cries across the oceans of dark night. Please. Sit with them. Sit with me.

I don't know what to do. But I will not look away for my own comfort.

I can pray. I can keep company with the broken and the hurting of the world. I can light a candle and send a flicker of mercy across the oceans of pain.

If you light yours too, if we keep vigil together in the midst of the world's agony, then maybe, just maybe, we can light a path to freedom together. And maybe Spirit fire will blaze in a heart somewhere and someone will discover a calling that leads to a solution, that leads to freedom.

Let's keep company with the more than 230 families wondering where their daughters are right now. Let our legacy be that we refused to look away when there were no easy answers.

I can see your candle flickering from here.

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