Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Have We Seen Too Much? - by Heidi McLaughlin

A sharp reality hit me this week.  A certain image shifted in my spirit and I became disturbed as I took the time to read the article on CNN. It is called “I’m just worried” written by Benazir Wehelie, and photographed by Alex Majoli during their time in Paris on Friday. [i] My perplexed spirit wasn’t so much about the horrors of the attacks, but the superficial and conflicting reactions of our present culture.

            Have we seen so many school shootings, beheadings, terrorist attacks and refugees that we have become desensitized? Alex, the photographer, states that in the site of the attacks people were taking selfies. Why?  To post on Instagram or Facebook to say that “I was there?” Perhaps we have become self absorbed about being part of the biggest adventure, or the most prestigious event, or seen with the most famous people?   Perhaps for some people it is a need for them to capture the spotlight and give them some historic and notorious recognition. Social media has lured us into believing that in order to have self worth and prestige we have to display a brilliant cutting edge life that no one else has. It hurts my heart to think that we have become so numb to tragedies that we grab tragic moments to glamorize ourselves.

            I remember the Columbine massacre on April 20, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado. It devastated our seemingly ideal existence and marked our country’s sadness for years. Our hearts broke for young people’s lost lives and we were horrified that someone could execute such loathsome acts.  Now when CNN reports another school shooting we shake our head, sigh and move on because there will probably be another travesty next week.

            But I can’t point a finger. I am aware that I no longer weep when I see a T.V. ad pleading for the support of a child that is under nourished, sad and hopeless.  There is so much anger, terrorism, violence and hopelessness these days that it seems easier to focus on our survival and happiness.  After all, I can’t do anything to change the world so I’ll look out for number one.

            That is not how we were designed to live. When Jesus walked on this earth he: “…saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34 NIV).

            We are not hopeless. We are not lost.  We have a shepherd whose heart must be breaking for mankind.  We have been given the command to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 NIV).

            So we can’t tune out. We can’t ignore. We are all connected. Even though we have a global view and at times it all seems too much, we must follow Jesus’ example and allow our hearts to feel the pain and sorrow of mankind.  Then to do what we can to help one another in our areas of influence.  Whether we like it or not, we are all God’s creations and until Jesus returns we are His hands and feet to bear one another’s burdens. “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NLT).

            “Heavenly Father forgive us for our selfish hearts. Help us to look at the crowds with hearts of compassion and mercy and to do our part wherever we can. Thank You. Amen.”

 Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at:


Peter Black said...

Right on, Heidi! Your observations and insights are correct on this cultural trend, I'm sure. And,your scriptural and Christian values applications speak clearly, especially to those of us who seek to follow Christ. Thank you. ~~+~~

Heidi Mclaughlin said...

Thank you Peter, it hurts me to watch our response to all our brothers and sisters across the world being hurt and oppressed.

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