How can we see, how can we understand the way we should?
Everything becomes relative... the horrific becomes history, rendering it commonplace. The deaths of 6 soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan have a greater impact on us than the deaths of 6 million Jews during the holocaust or the 53 million victims of Roe v. Wade - but soon even last week's casualties grow old, and we become jaded to the sorrow others face. We can't afford to dwell on it, to let ourselves take on the cares of the world, can we? How would we be able to enjoy life?
Waiting 20 minutes at a restaurant for our food to arrive makes us more upset than the fact that 20,000 children died that day of malnutrition.
You say, "I had a horrible day," because the rain ruined your hair or you didn't pass a test. Not because your father was thrown in prison for being a Christian, or because you lost your home in a tsunami.
Is it all relative? No, it's not like the pain we face should be ignored or belittled because someone else is experiencing a greater pain. But maybe, just maybe, we are becoming so fixated on the petty trials of the North American middle class that we are closed off to the greatest needs. Are we just doing what's easy? Only what will ease our consciences?
Are we becoming dull to real needs? We need to look outward. The gospel must be central, but if we say we love God, 1 John says we WILL love those who are made in God's image, not only those who help boost our image.
"Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46)
What is our perspective?