Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Pain Worth Feeling

Sometimes, when I am flipping mindlessly through the hundreds of channels on the TV, I come across something that doesn't just move me, it shakes me.

Many times, it happens when I end up on the Documentary Channel.  Tonight, flipping through the channels while watching the Food Network (irony of ironies!), I caught the last half of the above documentary, Crayons and Paper.  The reaction I had to the suffering in Darfur, the loss, the hopelessness, the hope, was physically painful.  It is a pain that is familiar to me. 

Call me sentamental, call me dramatic, call me a wimp if you want to, but when I see the real suffering of real people, I ache inside.  I think about my comfort, my America, my obsession with my American comfort, and I feel ashamed and helpless.  And something in me wants to turn the channel, or the page, and just recoil from the painful pull I feel on the strings of my heart.  But I don't.  I tell myself,

"Don't.  Let yourself feel this.  If it pains the very heart of God, let it pain you."

I think the moments when I am closest to who God wants me to be is when I hurt for the pain of others.  Others I know, or don't know.  When I look at their lives, and I refuse to turn my head, I acknowledge the realness of it.  And how can action come if we first refuse to feel, to look, to hurt? 

I don't know what to do.  I have no plan.  I have no answers.  But I know that with tears in my eyes, I want a plan to do something to get answers.  I want God to answer my questions:

Why is there so much pain in the world of innocents? 
What can I do?
What will You do? 

Moments after the documentary was over, with me curled up in the fetal position in the corner of my couch with tears coming freely, a commercial airs.  To sell me an Ab Roller, so that I can feel good about myself and my rock-hard abs.  Futility of futilities!  Show me something real, something painful, even.  But don't show me how to like myself more...I think I have too much of that already. 

1 comment:

  1. When you start asking those types of questions, don't be surprised when God answers. Be careful what you ask for. ;)