What to do when starving children no longer bother you
Five years into the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and nearly as many into that of the Syrian Civil War, I fear we’re now desensitized to images of war-torn cities, mass graves and dead or dying children—victims of siege, starvation, drowning or somewhere else on the gamut in-between. I fear we’ve become desensitized to the political chess play of Assad, Erdogan and Putin. I fear we no longer blink or cringe when we hear the phrase “greatest humanitarian crisis of our generation,” when that is exactly what this is.
The greatest humanitarian crisis of our generation.
Of my generation.
Of my parents’ generation.
Nothing on this scale has been seen since Hitler was stopped in his bloodthirsty, deluded tracks.
It would be easy, at this stage of a blog written by a relatively conservative Christian who believes in relief work as a means of missions and ministry, to begin railing on the political pundits or anti-jihadi activists and call on all of us to respond to the greatest humanitarian crisis of our generation.
It would be easy. I’m not going to do that. We’ve heard it all already, if on no other platform than our arguments on Facebook.
Rather, I think it is worth reminding the Body of Christ that we are invited to meet Him in the suffering of the world. If I need to give you specific verses to back up that premise, we need to start somewhere other than this blog and this issue.
It is also worth remembering that we will all stand before Him and answer for our words, deeds and mindless status updates. We will answer for how willing we’ve been to whitewash every Arab as a jihadi. We will answer for how we’ve white-knuckled the Name of Jesus and let the “unreached” nations remain unreached for as long as they have. We will answer for our barricaded borders and cold, calloused hearts when we see photos of frostbitten refugees and scorn their personhood and question their intentions.
It isn’t that I don’t suspect terrorists groups will exploit the crisis. They largely caused it, have exploited it, and will continue to. Whether or not they’ll use a cumbersome, expensive and years-long immigration process to infiltrate the West and convert or kill every infidel presently standing on democratic soil is so stupid and asinine I can’t bother to comment on it. London, New York, Paris and Boston taught us none need the system to strike fear and steal lives.
I am more concerned with those who confess the Lordship of Jesus while trying so hard to preserve their own security and not die that I wonder if they knew He said crazy things like “Follow Me.”
We have an invitation to meet the greatest crisis with the greatest response.
We have an invitation to not drown in apathy or lose our humanity to calloused xenophobia.
We have an invitation to present a living, breathing witness of the Man we love and cannot see to those who’ve never heard this Good News of the Kingdom.
It will demand the loss of some of our creature comforts, because we need to share.
It will demand our political affiliation, because no one is vying for power because they’re carrying a Cross.
It will demand our compassion, humanity and the thing that makes us Imago Dei.
It will be costly.
It will be worth it.