The outrage that echoed loudly through social media the last few weeks has left us for a time. It is now old and uninteresting, sort of like leftover turkey that sits, covered in plastic, in the refrigerator a week after Thanksgiving. No one cares anymore, and so we gladly throw away the carcass. We are ready to move on.
But after the outrage there is still a refugee problem. After the outrage, Lebanon, Baghdad, and Paris still cry out from a wounded place. After the outrage, there are still faces of human need that flash across my mind.
Outrage seems to do little to motivate for the long term. It may cause a one time gift of time or money and it certainly feeds the conscience, but it is not sustainable.
But mercy is sustainable. Mercy and compassion continue long after the outrage passes. Mercy and compassion are borne out of love for God and for those who are made in his image.
This next month, the Western world will focus on a day that has come to mean glitter and stuff. A day that has slowly eroded in meaning, coopted by money and market. And in truth, I love glitter and sparkle. I love lights and baubles.
Competing with the glitter and glitz is the Season of Advent. A time of silent nights and candle time. A time of waiting and longing, a time to pray for the refugee and the broken one. Advent is not a time of outrage, but a time of mercy and compassion. It is a time to live beyond the outrage, in a place of quiet consistency and anticipation. It is the time of the irrational season, where mercy and love trump reason.
The outrage is over, and Advent has begun. Refugees still try and get through unsafe waters onto safe shores; millions on millions are still displaced, violence still breaks our hearts and takes those we love.
The outrage is over, but a broken world remains in desperate need of our mercy and compassion. Can we live above and beyond the outrage?
Ways to live beyond the outrage:
- Make refugee kits
- Show this movie to some people in your life: Overview of Refugee Crisis from the Refugee Highway. Think about showing it to a community group, your church, a group of friends and use it as a time to learn more about the world of refugees.
- Work in a soup kitchen this holiday season. There are huge needs during the cold weather and volunteers are welcome.
- Set aside a time each day to pray for the world.
We pray for all whose lives
have been touched by tragedy,
whether by accident
or a deliberate act.
For those who mourn,
immerse them in your love
and lead them through this darkness
into your arms, and light.
For those who comfort,
be in both the words they use
and all that’s left unspoken;
fill each heart with love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
whose own suffering brought us life,
here and for eternity. Amen
©John Birch Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_peace.htm#ixzz3t4dzO796
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Follow us: @faithandworship on Twitter | faithandworship on Facebook