Please don’t turn away from this post because it is difficult to read. I want to share what is stirring in my heart during this Lent season of personal reflection and repentance and hope this stirs something in you as well.
During one of our recent snowfalls, my wife and I took the kids to one of our favorite sledding destinations. In the midst of our shivering and laughter, one of the kids noticed movement in a nearby patch of trees. It was a man adjusting his sleeping bag. A man sleeping in the snow.
A local friend has been privately messaging me, frantically trying to help a friend who he believes has been wrongfully imprisoned. The imprisoned man has a medical condition not being cared for in the prison, and his family is at risk in ways I can’t spell out here.
An international friend wrote me recently about a woman named Deborah. Her newborn baby was malnutritioned and seeking help for her baby. My friend wrote me a couple of days later informing me that the baby did not survive.
“While each of us cannot solve all the world’s problems, the one option we have not been afforded is to do nothing.”
An impoverished baby the world could not feed. An imprisoned man whose family is in dire straits. A homeless man asleep in the snow.
There are sorrows in this world that resist sustained observation. Those who dare to look for long will likely find themselves moved to action. But, If I look away so as to not witness the desperation, my heart cannot be convicted.
If we are honest, many of us who have the financial resources, do all we can to avoid observing the plight of the desperate. We choose to live, work, play, even vacation away from the sadness. This is not a subtle judgment, just a reality of life in the West.
To refuse to see the plight of your brothers and sisters is to be robbed of the opportunity to feel your heart thump with the compassion of God. We must resist the impulse to look away.
During the Lenten season, Christians fast in order to foster a spirit of self-reflection and repentance. My family negotiates an agreement on something we would like to eliminate for this 40-day stint so that we might focus our spiritual eyes.