When You Want to Retreat and Ignore

I have been avoiding Facebook lately for the most part. I have a few commitments that require me to pop on and check things for a second, but otherwise I am steering clear.

The news right now is hard to handle. Regardless of what side of the political aisle you find yourself, it's disheartening to see the animosity and hate spewing across the board. People I genuinely love and respect are seemingly baited into joining the cacophony, everyone desperate to convince their counterparts that there IS a better way, a salvation for their wrong thinking (whatever that may be).

The news is hard to take, let alone people's opinions on the news.

Add to that the personal sufferings of so many friends I know and love; a sweet mom of three with stage 4 cancer, a friend with infertility, another trying so desperately to find a job to support his family... this is not for the faint of heart.

Why is no one crying out in the streets? Where is the sackcloth and ashes? Where is the wailing?

It seems the only acceptable responses are anger or avoidance. Defend your cause at the cost of others or ignore reality at the cost of others.

I so desperately want to pretend this isn't happening. Pretend I live in a world free of bad test results, immoral leaders, racism, fear-induced anxiety, harsh words and broken hearts. Pretend I live in the garden before Adam and Eve ate that stupid fruit... before they questioned God's goodness.

But I don't live in that world and neither do you.

How do we maintain hope? How do we remain "sorrowful yet rejoicing"? How do I stop to enjoy coloring with my 4-year-old without considering that I may be the one to receive the stage 4 cancer diagnosis at some point?

I press on. I know what's happening and pray. We battle darkness on our knees and in our serving others, not in hashtags and debates in comment sections. I trust that God is kind and good and loving, even when His people are not. I trust that vengeance belongs to the Lord, not me. I love God and I love my neighbor. I teach my children truth. I savor each small moment.

I cannot afford to retreat and ignore anymore than I can afford to stay in bed crying all day or engaging in Facebook debates. Retreating, ignoring, crying, debating... no one is inspired to love Jesus or love their neighbor by any of these tactics. Let's view this through the lens of eternity.


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