By Stacy Blackmon
My morning routine usually starts with prayer and deep breathing and is quickly followed by list making and a cup of coffee while watching the news. Some days, I take it all in very casually. Other days, I am absolutely overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the human condition.
While sipping a dark roast, it is easy to change the channel when a disturbing image is shown, when political rhetoric feels divisive, when there is disagreement on the legitimacy of unrest and protest, or when commentary on emerging social norms conflicts with personal values.
What happens, though, when you catch a glimpse of something—of suffering or tragedy or lost potential and for some reason, you cannot change the channel, you cannot look the other way?
Last week, I was driving on a busy state route when I noticed a young woman walking alongside of the road. She was wearing black shiny tights, had on a full face of make-up and looked to be no more than in her late teens…all of which seemed strange at 9:00 in the morning. My gut said something happening in this girls’ life was tragic and I couldn’t ignore that feeling. I just didn’t know what to do. What if she was on her way to work or school and my interference was deemed offensive, even creepy? What if something more sinister was indeed occurring in the background and danger was waiting for me?
I continued driving about a mile until I could make a U-turn. By the time I got back to that intersection, she was gone. Had I missed an opportunity to help a young woman in need? Would someone else on that busy road see what I saw and respond? Was there even an issue or was the infamous savior complex rearing its head? If there was an issue, was it my job – on that day, with all I had going on- to solve it?
Super heroes may intervene quickly without hesitation or fear. Last week I was reminded that most of us are simply human. When confronted with big social issues and very real human needs, we often don’t know what to think or do. Some of us act. Some of us overact. Some of us do nothing at all.
Friends, today I want to encourage you not to look away. Whether it is a story from one of Global Women’s partners about sex trafficking or an announcement from your church about feeding the homeless or a news story on Syrian refugees, give yourself permission to see it, to feel it.
You likely don’t need to pull over on the side of the road and approach a stranger in tights. But, you can help address some of the biggest causes of our day if you are open to how God would lead you to serve this day.