Who Cares?

I am a college student at a major public university. Needless to say, this is a place where awareness on world and local social justice issues is pretty easy to come across. Nearly every day as I walk to class I'm accosted with fliers, megaphones, posters, tables, people... and to be truthful, there are many times when this is just plain frustrating. Not that these issues aren't important...but cmon. I'm busy. I'm (most likely) late to class. And not to mention I'm already involved in a million different things. It's not like I have money either...I'm a poor college student for crying out loud. Or scenario number justice on a more personal level. A homeless man asks me for some change. Also a pretty regular occurrence in the town I live in. Yeah, its sad he's homeless...but often, the same feelings overtake me. Im busy, late, annoyed, and lets be honest....he's probably going to use that money to buy liquor or cigarettes. I'm not saying these aren't legitimate thought processes.

I'm just saying it's all too easy not to care. 

Especially when many injustices seem a world away. Child soldiers in Uganda. Poverty. Genocides in Rwanda. Modern day slavery. Natural disasters. AIDS. Starvation. Racism. Sex Tourism. The list goes on. 

For some reason we've either adopted the thinking that we can't do anything, or its better to live in blissful ignorance than in hopelessness. Why be sad, why be distraught over something that we really can't do anything about? What a futile effort. Why feel guilty and ashamed that my circumstances are better than someone in a third world country? What unnecessary pain. It's not my fault. I've observed that often, when topics like this are brought up, people get uncomfortable. Defensive. Irritated that someone has the audacity to remind them not to waste their food when orphans are starving in Africa.

This might be an offensive stance to many. But I strongly believe we all need to be made a little uncomfortable sometimes. We all need to be offended. When we look at God's heart for justice, I have a hard time believing that He is telling us it's fine not to care. It's fine to feel the appropriate emotions when we see the sad news report or hear a sermon at church... and then move on. It's fine to live in our safe little bubble and let the world take care of its own problems. It's not like my prayers, my involvement, or my few dollars can make a tremendous difference.

This is a lie. 

Too often we are the priest that walks on the other side of the road, away from the broken man. (Luke 10:25-37) Im not trying to say that the priest was a bad person, or that God didn't love him. But he missed out on so much. He completely missed the chance to be a part of God's story, to live out the things that he claimed to believe. I desire to be the Samaritan...and way too often I am the priest. I walk by and move on with my life. I show no compassion. No love.

For me, this journey started with this prayer:

Break my heart for what breaks Yours.

....And He did.

Then He called me.

Will you dare to love this world? The broken? The lost? The mistreated?

It may hurt at times. It may be heart wrenching. It may take us out of our comfort zone. Occupy our time. Compromise our security. Make us surrender our finances. Force us to open up our hearts. Bring us to our knees in prayer. Heaven forbid...He may call us to actually GO to the nations!

But in the midst of this process of caring...of loving....we come alive. We figure out who we were made to be, what we were called to do. We become a part of God's story.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
-Micah 6:8

And for those of you wondering why I decided to call this blog about social justice issues "dare to love"... I knew that I wanted to discuss issues of social justice, and God's heart for these issues. But every title seemed...kind of wordy and not really capturing what I wanted to communicate. Then I looked up, on my wall, at a picture a friend of mine painted- and it became very evident. This is NOT a blog detailing the injustices of our world....this is God's call for us to love the world. A dare to love.