Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

{a sweet and innocent stare from the baby of my good friend}

Eyes wide open, like a deer in the headlights, this is me right now.

Standing in the cross hairs of Tsunami devastation and Lenten meditations on caring for the needy and oppressed, crumbled by news articles of wanton neglect and shameless aversion of justice, grieved by hurting friends who are missing their babies, and little girls who are missing their mothers, angered by the tragedy of a new friend who was tricked by an agent when coming to China and ended up working for months without pay, holed up in a remote part of China in horrible living conditions. And that's not to mention the relentless oppression and violence that contiues in places like Libya, or that has been going on for decades in Zimbabwe.

Headlights. Deer. Me.

This morning as it all weighed down, I started to work in the kitchen-- setting yeast to rise for bread and milk to curdle for cheese making, slicing squash to roast in the oven and mixing oats with nuts for granola... when suddenly I looked around, realizing I had about six projects going at once in my closet-sized cooking space, and muttered to myself, what is going on??

The half crazed, half lucid muttering continued on for awhile, my hands punching hard into the soft dough, pulling pans out of the oven, stirring the steaming milk, watching a floury crust form on the rim of my daughter's face.

Is it just that this is my one piece of terrain I can do something with? Out there- so many problems, heartaches, needs, decisions- and all things we as people, me as a fellow human- are called to act upon. Yet, none of which I can do anything about.

I feel much like that baby up there: arms so short, seeing it all but unable to comprehend and even less able to act with any real or helpful capacity.

Most of the time I worry that I do far too little. Crippled by cynicism or a distaste for cliche responses to poverty- I seem to have relegated myself to the corner when jumping into the ring seems to be what is called for. Feeling cut off and minimized by my family, lifestyle, abilities, proximity and what have you, I fear I have sloughed off any sense of responsibility to fight and care for the oppressed, the needy, the imprisoned, the hurting.

I suppose part of what I want to understand is just what chunk of terrain is mine to care for. No one man can bear the weight of the world, and to bear and care for one small chunk is each man's calling. I wonder... I don't know, but maybe a life of true charity and generosity will enlarge that chunk whenever a need is pressed upon it, or grows from within it. Because sometimes it seems like all you can do is bake the bread in your kitchen, and feed it to anyone who has need of it.  


  1. Half way around the world and today I blogged about the same sadness!
    I have the every day sadness, sadness in the world, and my youngest has a tumor by his spine. God has given me grace to have peace..most of the time. Thanks for sharing your heart!
    Atlanta, GA

  2. Very well written! I have thought many of the same things this week. It's been a hard week to read the news and was coupled with a lot of difficult situations in our family and with friends. This world is a confusing place sometimes. It is so frustrating to not know what to do or how to help sometimes. I'm glad we have the comfort of knowing Him, knowing that He knows all and has it all under control.

  3. I clicked over from Ann’s Walking With Him Wednesday link.

    And I couldn’t have said it better myself, “Headlights. Deer. Me.” I sometimes think that there isn’t any more disaster in the world than there has ever been. But we can see it all now with media. Images are strong. My mom always said “love begins in the home” – kind of like your “bake the bread in your kitchen, and feed it to anyone who has need of it.” Home first – then outward into the larger circles. This was rally good to read today. Thank you.

    May God Bless and Keep you and all of yours this day