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Monday, October 16, 2017

When the News Is Too Heavy

I cannot spend too much time watching the news these days.  Even the reporting feels controversial and debative.  There is shock, then sadness, then perhaps frustration or anger.  What do we do?  I'm not in a position to make a big donation to hurricane relief or to comfort families grieving from unwarranted violence.  I don't have the ideal policy that would unite us all.  I see the problems and don't have solutions for them, so sometimes I want to hide from the unfolding of more real life drama.  But this renders me ineffective and isolated from our world - I don't feel right in that position either.

So, I'm trying to find what feels right.  I trust our church to steward my investments well, and to be the front line for many in need. I prioritize giving at church and to those I know have need, even when they aren't asking.  Especially when they aren't asking.  These are places where I feel like I can make a tangible difference.

I can smile in the car pick up line and bring the traffic director something cold to drink. I can send a note to thank a teacher or welcome the new faculty member to our school.  I can support their efforts to improve our community on the front lines in our Title 1 schools.

It's tempting to drift into fear and despair, or worse to become numb and cold to others' pain. Recently Jennifer Rothschild said:

When we are confronted with a circumstance that challenges us, we have two choices. We can say to our souls, “Soul, you might as well get depressed, fall into despair, and give in to your worst impulse.” Or we can say to our souls, “Soul, you might as well have hope, believe in something good happening, and place your expectation in the goodness of God.”

God does not leave us without hope.  I love the reminder that we do not have to succumb to the darkness of our world because the Light of Christ is ever with those who are living with Him as their compass.

I can't bury my head in the sand and ignore the devastation around our world, but I can pay special attention to the points in my daily life where I have the ability to make a difference.