My Heart Hurts

When I first opened up my laptop, it was with the intention of writing a Thankful Thursday post, since I haven't done one in a couple of weeks. But this morning I just can't write a happy go lucky post about all the trivial things in life that make me happy. This morning, my heart hurts. Like, physically, my chest feels tight and I find myself constantly on the verge of tears. Because our world is so, so, so broken. And the weight of that, of the things that we see on a daily basis, of the hatred that is constantly spewed out of people's mouths, of the horrific injustices that happen regularly - the weight of that feels like it's just too much today.
I know there are two sides to every story, I know there are "reasons" and "excuses" for the way things happen, I know that I most certainly don't have any answers, I know that I am completely ignorant to so much of what goes on in our world - and that's largely by choice, because I can't bring myself to read or watch the news most days because it is sickening. And terrifying. And absolutely, positively heartbreaking. But what I do know for sure is that this world is broken. We live in a world that scares me. It scares me that my sons will have to grow up in this world.

I have always had a heart for the underdog. I have always been compassionate to a fault. If a debate comes up, I am siding with the "other", the person without the privilege, the person who may be misunderstood or at a disadvantage. I have always been painfully aware of the advantages that I have in my life, because I have so many. I am a young, relatively attractive white girl who grew up with all of the material and monetary securities I could have ever hoped for. I had parents who loved and protected me from all of the "bad" in the world for as long as they could. I have never actually feared for my life, I have never felt like a true outsider, I have never felt as if I didn't belong in a certain place because of the way I looked or dressed or the color of my skin. If a cop pulls me over, I play dumb and smile a lot and they send me on my way. If I walk into a room, I can guarantee that no one feels threatened or uncomfortable or nervous. If I encounter any type of tension, I can almost always smooth it over without much effort. I am privileged, there is no denying that.

Instead of making me feel entitled or judgmental toward other people who may be different than me, this has filled me with a sense of responsibility. I have ALWAYS wanted to help those who aren't able or aren't sure how or feel like they don't know where to begin to help themselves. I feel such a burden for anyone who is hurting, who is confused, who is angry, who is unfairly treated - my heart honestly feels like it could break.

I have no answers. I don't know where we go, I don't know how we begin to heal in our communities, as a country, as a human race. I don't know how you fix something so horribly, horribly broken. The only thing I know to do is to pray. To pray and beg God to please give us answers. Please guide us, please help us, please open people's eyes on both sides of all of these horribly divisive situations in our world. Let us see the common thread, let us view the "other" out there as human. As someone's mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, mommy, daddy - whatever they may be, they are HUMAN. They are someone's person. They are someone's whole world.

I feel like no matter how much I try to avoid all media, all the crazy stories, almost every day there is something horrifying that goes on. Terrorists killing massive amounts of people around the world and right here in our own country. Children being abused and neglected and murdered. Men being killed by people who are meant to protect us. Politicians that speak hatred and judgement and spew lies out of their mouths. How will any of it get better? How?

All I can do this morning is sit here with worship music on and lay my broken heart here before God and pray. I don't even know what I'm praying anymore. I feel raw and bruised and broken, and I can't imagine how people that are directly affected by any of this must feel. The pain is almost too much for me to bear, HOW is anyone surviving this?

If you're a believer, please pray with me. Please pray for our country, for all of the hurting people out there. Please pray, no matter who you believe is right or wrong in any situation, just pray for all of the human beings who are being directly affected by the horrible things in our world. Pray for direction, for something to do, for a way to make a difference. That is my prayer. That I won't only hurt this way, but that I'll feel some direction for something that I can do to make the tiniest difference right here in my own little piece of the world where I have influence. Because something has to be done.

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