From the Archives:
Public places provide prime viewing grounds for all walks of life. Today, I sit at the library. The perception is only nerds like me use the library, but, at least in small town America, it has become a place to cultivate both education and community (which I think is why I love coming here so much). If you sit, listen and watch long enough (don’t be a stalker though ok?), you will see a protective mother and her cubs, the unemployed searching for that long awaited job, the older gentleman on oxygen who comes to read the newspaper every morning, just to get out of the house.
But then you also see some people you might view as a bit different. Such as the gentleman who walked into the “quiet room”, where I am sitting, picked up a newspaper saying in an English accent, “downed flights and shootings everyday, what is the world coming to? And why should I give a shit? Why should any one man?” He glanced at the front page, huffed and threw down the paper.
At first I was a bit startled, trying not to stare at him, as he stalked out of the room, replaying what he had said in my mind. I realized I understood his frustration on some level. Everyday, at 1:30 I sit in a meeting discussing the news of the day; the shootings, the rapes, the wrecks, the floods, the tornados. Destruction. Pain. Chaos.
And my apathy reigns. What can I do about it? Nothing? Ok, let’s move on then.
Is that not the same mindset as the gentleman at the library? We are not the only two who feel this way either. Many of us have stopped watching the news, stopped researching the issues plaguing our country, even refused to vote, because of our apathy. What do we want in a president? Answers to OUR issues. We complain because we feel they are disconnected from “The People”, but how connected are WE to “The People.” Do we even see each other as part of the national community, or are we clutching to our individuality, praying those elected will concern themselves with our problem more than the concern of our neighbor?
Back to the question at hand though, why should any one man concern himself with the world’s scars? Because Jesus does. Loving God, includes loving one another, which is why we cannot isolate ourselves from the world. Isolation, apathy and chosen ignorance is the easy way out. I am guilty of it, that’s for sure. But, Jesus did not run from the issues of the world, he faced them with love and perseverance. He knew what the political law was and followed it, he knew God’s law and followed it. If you’ll remember Pilate said he found no fault in Jesus. God saw no fault in him, the fault lay with us, his creation who chose to walk away. His creation who now trades truth and love for apathy, a simpler way of living, and yet, so unfulfilling.
We should care because Jesus cares. And if we really believe the Gospel and understand it’s importance and significance in this world, we will reject apathy and begin caring about the issues impacting not only our own lives but of our neighbor as well. People surround us all day long, with their own rules, perceptions, hurts, and cares. We may be curious about who they are, but it is time for us to begin caring enough to ask how they are and how we can help. It is time we understand who “THE PEOPLE” are, not only of our nation but of the world.
What are some ways you have rejected apathy and loved those around you?