If I had my way I would refuse to watch the evening news, read the newspaper, or be aware of current events. I would hide my eyes and close my ears to pain and suffering so as not to trouble myself with the darkness of broken families, reoccurring violence, unquenchable greed, unprecedented loss of species of plants and wildlife, famine, war, deadly epidemics, injustice toward women, children, and minorities...I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. I wonder if you have shared some of my feelings?
“I don’t want to know.”
“The information and worrisome details are overwhelming.”
“What can one person do?”
I have noticed a growing challenge to incorporate my belief in peacemaking into a spiritual practice. I am conscious of Christ asking me to take off my blinders and partner in his feelings of anger, sorrow and compassion for those who are experiencing pain, suffering and injustice. Just as Christ turned to three of his disciples in his final hours in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ has turned to me and asked me to watch and pray. Humbly, I have had to take off my blinders and see the reality of my own brokenness and the cumulative result of all of our brokenness. Sometimes when I enter this new-found space of prayer I feel as if I have entered a place of collective pain, and I shed tears with Christ for the suffering of others and the injustice done to them. As strange as it may seem, this is holy ground for me and in this particular time it is a new way I experience God’s presence.
My challenge is to resist my initial response to close my eyes and turn away. As you go through the day notice the times or circumstances you resist “seeing” and consider Christ’s invitation to watch and pray.
Lynn Clouser Holt, adapted from the 2011 Daily Reader