"I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined and heard my cry..."~Psalm 40
I am having significant difficulty starting this post. Primarily, I think that it's because I have many opinions that I would like to share on the topic of suffering: the role men play in creating it; the role men play in exacerbating it; the role the church plays in alleviating it. I reckon others have dealt with this topic more gracefully, thoughtfully, and with a higher degree of skill.
There are people who get paid to do this stuff, you know. I'd like to write about the internet, how it's clogged with causes, all worthy, all accompanied by weepy-eyed photographs. I'd like to ask why those posts, written with all the passion in the world, leave a community of people unmobilized. Perhaps I could opine on compassion fatigue. Perhaps I could opine on my own apathy.
Lord knows I'm tired.
But the truth is, as much as I'd love to share a call to action, as much as I'd love to ask you to liquidate your bank accounts, that won't solve anything. Tough pill to swallow... I know.
Soap boxes are easy things to construct. I know because I've built them. And they are built for all the right reasons, for all the best ones. But my latest trip to East Africa has redirected me a bit. Yes, there are significant issues of "justice and mercy" playing out in the highlands and the rift valleys. Yes, I could share stories that would make your head swim with ideas, with killer internet water well fund-raising events. But many of those stories are private, or personal, or potentially manipulative, and so, on that account, I'll keep a bit more quiet.
There are facts to be considered, still. There is a drought in East Africa. It is a different kind of drought, one not being covered by the BBC. There is a collection of people groups comprising a population of 14 million (give or take). There are less than 2,500 known believers in those groups. There is persecution. There is victory. There is singing. There is joy. But Christ have mercy, it's dry.
I'm waiting patiently this time because I don't know what else to do. I'm praying this time because it seems right. I'm not asking you to cease striving for justice or mercy, or anything like that. But if you'd like to wait it out with me, I'd love the company.
And if you'd like to know what you're praying for, drop me a quick comment. I'll send you an email.