The world we live in has always been a challenging place, it has areas of great and sometimes terrifying beauty, views and vistas that can literally take your breath away. It can be full of love and compassion, a place where people care for the earth, for creation and one another, but, I fear that more and more this is no longer the case. The rise in hate crime is marked, racism, sesism, homophobia, are rife, the creation of an underclass in this country (UK), by means of a punishing rather than an enabling benefits system is cruel and unjust. Nationalism seems to be on the rise too, where once countries were looking to join in a quest for the common good, there is breakdown, just look at Brexit, and the fighting and wrangling there, exposing our selfishness and greed. Then there is more horror as we watch the Trump administration taking children from their parents and locking them in cages! There are no excuses or explanations that make this a good thing!!!
I, like many watch all of this from a distance, the news comes to me via my TV screen or Social Media, I drive to an appointment through beautiful scenery hearing of unspeakable horrors via the radio, a radio that I can easily tune out, a TV that I can switch off, and Social Media that I can ignore. I can easily get caught up in the grass that needs mowing, or a meal that needs making, or a meeting that needs preparation and fill my life with many things cushioning me from the horrible reality that many face, that many face EVERYDAY, EVERY MOMENT!
This morning, as I watch and think through all of this I am struck by how powerless I feel, and there is a temptation to say that there is nothing I can do, but the weight of it feels too great. The US/ Trump Administration are now saying that they are withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, to state that human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the Human Rights Council whilst being happy to lock thousands of children in cages is surely a contradiction! If we cannot see that, and if those speaking those words cannot see that then the system we inhabit is surely badly broken!
This time last year I shared an anonymous quote of Facebook, it stated simply ” I screamed at God for the starving child, until I saw that the starving child was God screaming at me. ” It is time then to hear God again in the cries of the children, to see God in the 16 year old girl who is acting as mother to her frightened companions in the cage where she is being held, teaching them to care for one another. It is time to be with God in cries for justice, and to speak up and speak out even if we feel that our words are not heard. It is time to speak truth to power and to say NO! and to shout THIS MUST STOP, to support those who can make a difference and to keep doing so. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand and hope that this will pass. Now is not the time to submerge ourselves in a cocoon of busyness and things that numb us from the mirror of horror being held so clearly in front of our faces.
Learn how to write to the American Embassy, talk to your MP, don’t allow the horror to overwhelm you, talk to others, share your concerns, pray, weep, lament, but don’t look away, don’t simply hope that this is a blip, that horrors on a world-wide scale cannot be repeated for surely we have learned that lesson….
Where you can seek to do acts of kindness, mercy and justice, look for peace, and hope, value your neighbour, and the stranger in your midst, be the difference, seek the difference, look to live a life of love. Most of all don’t believe the lie that you cannot make a difference, you can, we all can! WE ALL CAN!