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Compassion fatigue

March 13, 2012

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to see how much is wrong in the world.   So many people who don’t have enough to eat, don’t have a safe place to live, don’t have enough money to buy what they need to live decently.  So many people sick, violated, oppressed.  So many causes calling for our attention.

As of a few days ago we’ve raised 15% of the goal amount for Project Jubilee.  That’s really awesome, and I’m really excited to be a little bit closer to the goal of providing the resources for someone else’s rescue. It’s amazing to be a part of this.

And yet, I feel the weight of how much injustice still lurks out there.  Humans are often horribly cruel to one another.  I finally found 29 spare minutes watch the Kony 2102 video (you should too, if you haven’t.).  Ugh.  It is very hard to find grace in my heart for such a brutal, cruel person who has no regard for the lives of others, to the tune of 30,000 children.  And just as difficult is knowing that the opposing power group in Uganda is also guilty of some pretty terrible atrocities and violations of human rights.  Do we side with a lesser evil in order to eliminate a greater one?   The lesser of two evils is still evil.  How in the world do we live with ourselves if we do nothing, or we do something but that something has damaging fallout of its own?

This is why so many people choose the ostrich method of dealing with injustice.  Ignorance is bliss.  Because once you know, you’re responsible.

Right now, today, in a world were we can boss around our phone genies to do our bidding, there are children dying of worms.  Worms.  Little kids are starving to death because of intestinal parasites.

There are people dying of malaria that could be prevented with a bed net.

There are little girls sold from their homes into the clutches of traffickers who exploit them for their own gain.

There are babies born with HIV…drug addiction…fetal alcohol syndrome…

Child marriage, drug trafficking, human trafficking and slavery, child soldiers, water shortages, lack of education, lack of women’s rights, environmental disasters, AIDs orphans, homelessness…I could go on and on and on.  But if you’re anything like me, there comes a point where you just can’t bear it anymore and so you begin to shut down your heart just so you can keep breathing.  It’s called compassion fatigue.  So much need…so little power to change it.

It’s easy to think that these problems could be solved with more money.  But money, or lack thereof, isn’t the real problem.  Broken humanity is the problem.  We perpetuate violence on one another.  We hold our resources closely and refuse to share, fearful of giving away something we might later need for ourselves.  We are cruel.  We don’t love well.

We need Jesus.

I wish I could fix it all.  I wish I could stop injustice.  I wish that I could stop the suffering. I don’t want a dead faith that refuses to bend to compassion.  But I feel so very small in comparison to the sea of human need.

Until January 21st of 2013, Project Jubilee will be my primary focus.  But when the 22nd rolls around, the world will still be overrun with injustice.  What then?  I guess I won’t know until it gets here.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2012 12:02 am

    I just keep thinking about all those kids in Mozambique that Heidi Baker ministers to and how many more never get the chance. The task looks daunting, but how incredible for the ones she has been able to reach and rescue out of their dire situations. There is no telling how far reaching her influence has been as those children have grown up and moved out over the years. Hey! If He can feed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, just imagine what He can do with an actual human being when He multiplies her influence!!

  2. March 14, 2012 4:43 am

    I feel you, Lisa. It’s like the song we sing at church: “Break my heart for what breaks Yours.” That line sounds pretty in a song, but the reality of it is overwhelming. This world needs Jesus.

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