I don’t watch the news very often. I feel bad about that. I worry it’s irresponsible, running away from the world, detaching or not caring enough. I think lots of people would say I need to be more engaged. But in fact the reason I can’t watch is precisely the opposite of not caring enough. When I watch all I see is danger, anger, loss, violence, threats, pain, instability…. all I feel is dread, fear, sadness, grief, shaken, panic, disintegrating… and I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to carry the feelings, or what the proper response is. What do we do with this hurt we can’t heal and trauma we can’t stop?
I don’t know if the world is on the whole becoming a more dangerous place. On the one hand I can’t say there’s no hope. Our God has assured us of His love for us and that no war, disaster or loss can separate us from Him. There is always something in this world to give hope. I think there’s always somewhere in each crisis where you can find some tiny piece of good. On the radio a while back I heard someone say when we are afraid of the bad things we see happening, look for the people who are trying to help and do good because they are always there somewhere.
On the other hand, there does seem to be more and more danger, terrorism, violence and unrest. What was once distant and occasional now seems a real and present danger. So many people are suffering and afraid and trying to escape threats to their homes and their lives. The scale of it scares me too.
Other people sometimes say, we have come through worse and we will get through this. Especially people who lived in the Cold War era. Perhaps it’s a great difference of perspective.
It all still leaves me with the question of what to do. How are we supposed to respond when fear seems to be taking hold and when we see so much suffering that we can’t do anything directly to heal? How do we cope with the scale of such unrest, when we don’t know what good we can do and it feels so out of control?
These questions really shake me at the moment.