800,000 Lost Children. What does it have to do with me?
I woke up with a headache.
As I pulled my nighttime dental guard out, I noticed a hole on one side. I’d bitten all the way through. What’s up with that? What bothered me so much I clenched my teeth?
I had no idea.
I swallowed a couple painkillers. This would be a good morning to leave early and drive through Starbucks. Strong coffee— that would erase whatever bothered me.
In defense against the predawn chill, I dressed and pulled on my winter coat. The sun peeked between gray clouds as I drove through the Starbucks’ drive-up window. Steaming coffee in hand, I pulled over to the side of the road to sip it slowly.
The reason for the clenched teeth appeared —lit up in my mind like a billboard.
“Epic tragedy: 800,000 Nigerian kids displaced by Boko Haram, violence”
So read the headline of the article I’d scanned before bed.
God, I prayed. What can be done about this? Surely You’ve got a rescue plan.
I felt God wanted me to quiet my anxious thoughts and listen.
The article reported that early on several countries, including my own, volunteered to help the Nigerian government. But the nations couldn’t form a united front to stop the evil and bring the families and children back. Help never came.
Why, God, why?
I sensed a startling truth: This kind of evil, this level of darkness is above the actions of governments and nations. The war of darkness vs. light has shot higher and deeper.
The fight has moved to the level of the human heart. And every heart on the planet is involved in the struggle.
Every heart, God? EVERY? Really, what does this have to do with me? I’m so far away.
The children were either sex slaves or made into child soldiers, learning early to kill. No longer human, they became chattel, garbage. Children had value only so far as they were useful to Evil’s web.
I pondered the depravity of human hearts that view others only as objects for their use.
In those quiet moments, a question arose: How often do I see people as useful to me and value them accordingly?
Faces flashed before me:
- my supervisor . . . who I view as having power over me;
- coworkers . . . who could help or hurt my work;
- clients who add to my spreadsheet numbers . . . or just take my time;
- people who include me . . . those who don’t.
I see what you mean, God. Every human heart. Mine.
Involved in the battle.
I’ll get re-engaged here, now, today, Lord. Help me develop a heart like yours.
And, please, please, God. Show us how to rescue those children!
I look both ways for traffic and then pull away from the curb.
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photo credit: Marc Louwes @ flickr.com (creative commons)