I have had a few thoughts going around in my mind lately, but they have been put aside by the vice of fear and frustration that has circulated through the media. There is so much sadness and hatred and misunderstanding, a convoluted hodgepodge. Social media, especially, has been such that I kind of just have to stay away from it. Someone told me lately, "But you must stay informed!" Informed, yes. Staying informed from different sources is one thing. But joining the masses on Facebook does not make me more informed. One cannot possibly be expected to even begin to process the outpouring of articles, posts, and comments that come from every direction on his or her news feed. You very simply cannot. So many words, so many opinions, coming from hundreds, or even thousands of different people ... it leaves us emotionally exhausted and bleak, incapable of remaining fully present in our real lives.
Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only one who just can't balance it all.
I don't think it is entirely out of coincidence that the dejected feeling I experience through social media has led me to pick up my camera again. It's as if my soul longs to see beauty. Cliche as it may sound, it's just the dang truth. Because amidst this sadness and confusion, there's still joy. And it's typically right in front of us, when our eyes shift from our screens to the small worlds around us. It is possible to grieve for others, to think upon their sadness and pray for a pain we cannot comprehend, while moving through our own everyday. I look into the faces of my kids, and my heart feels both joy and fear. An unparalleled love, and a looking to the horizon of their futures laid out beyond what I may ever see. In our parenting, we are shaping them for the unknown.
And I think upon my own huge responsibility to pass on to the next generation:
To love thy neighbor.
Our words carry weight. Our actions speak even louder. And in this small existence, in my little corner of a huge world, there are three perspectives, three worldviews developing under my roof. How I pray for compassion, for a fierce insistence of truth and justice, for hearts that flood with grace.
But they first have to see it in me.
Have a lovely day.