Monday, March 10, 2014

Help, I'm Alive: Thoughts on the Bigger Picture.

Today as I woke I settled lazily into my thoughts, as I do every day, categorizing in my head all the things that must be done and the words that must be said--yes, I deliberately choose to have conversations, it's true. And I say I did it lazily because I had not yet remembered yesterday's thoughts, yesterday's troubles, yesterday's words.

Today, before I remembered yesterday, I checked the weather (a lovely 49 degrees)and I listened to my husband gathering his dirty work clothes and grumbling at their smell. I made myself a cup of tea, washed my face, pondered how soon I'd be ready to start that scrapbooking project, I answered an e-mail from a coworker, and turned on my latest playlist. 

And then I remembered yesterday, and yesterday's thoughts, troubles, and words. They were nothing like today.

Today, the "trending" things on Facebook include iOS 7.1, the upcoming new season of '24', the Sbarro sandwich company filing for their second bankruptcy in three years, and a whole slew of celebrity rubbish. You know what isn't included on that scrolling tab of trends?

The fact that 33 Christians were ordered to be executed by North Korea's tyrant Kim Jong-Un because they helped start underground churches. (Kim Jong-Un Order Execution of 33 Christians.)

The fact that 239 people and one ginormous airplane are still lost somewhere in the world, and we don't know why. (Malaysia flight 370 Still a Complete Mystery.)

Those were yesterday's thoughts, and while I know many of my friends are thinking about these matters and praying about them, most of the world sees a news article, gives it 5 minutes of their brain-space, and then they move on to their lattes and their smartphones and their less-terrifying business. It's easier to stay inside the bubble of our own lives. It's safe there.

But the truth is that the world is a dark, hard-hearted place where people are killed for their beliefs and entire planes disappear without answers for those left behind. We live on a planet where one person can wake up and go out for espresso and banter about last night's premier of 'Cosmos' with his friends, and on the other side of the world somebody is waking up in a cold cell, waiting only for their death. And other people got on a plane in Malaysia on Saturday morning and didn't land in Beijing as expected.

 Brace yourself for this next group of thoughts.

I don't have a problem with those Christians facing death.
I don't have a problem with the missing plane and the missing people.

I don't have a problem, because my heart is absolutely broken about it, and that is all that God asks of me. It would be a problem for me if my heart wasn't broken. My real problem is that there isn't anything else I can do. All I can do is hold myself within that heartbreak, to acknowledge the depth of sadness in this situation, to pray for the families and friends of those who are lost. 

I have no choice but to go about my business as if nothing's wrong... because I have a life to live... and that life is here. It's not in North Korea, or Malaysia. 

Part of my current playlist is a song that I came across a few years ago. I'm sure there are other meanings you could glean from its lyrics but today, it's reminding me to just let myself feel sad. It's a reminder to allow yesterday's thoughts and troubles and words stay with me, to let those feelings stay with me, even if they don't keep me "safe" in my own life, even if others might think I should move on.

I've posted the acoustic version below. It doesn't have lyrics, but you can look them up if you want to. The song is "Help, I'm Alive" by Metric.

Don't be afraid to be empathetic. Sit in your feelings for a while... it's okay. Really.

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