I have been following my friend Robin’s trip to India with Compassion International. As I read her stories, I can’t help but imagine the glimpse of life they are witnessing there. Which often times seem more like glimpses of death.
Then I think about my home church preparing for a Sunday focused entirely on human trafficking, the fastest growing international crime. Soon, it will become the number one illegal industry worldwide, even above drug trafficking. And it is happening here, in our country. In our high schools.
Babies in India without food? Children being sold as slaves? I can’t help but think: What can one person possibly do? It feels more than a little hopeless.
And then I see this. It is an unopened letter from our Compassion child. Her name is Pinky. She writes faithfully. We write, but not so faithfully. She lives in Bangledesh. We live here. She writes, and I hesitate to open her letter.
Because reading her words, seeing her little drawings, I am forced to face the fact that I am a walking contradiction. I feel both too much and not enough. To open that letter means to admit that Pinky exists, that her life is hard, that there are other children like her who don’t have a sponsor. There is a part of me that fears if I allow myself to consider the reality of the pain in the world, the sadness would be too crushing and I would never recover.
Feeling nothing is easier than facing the vast, empty, never-ending pain. And so I get busy. I forget. I turn the channel, watch a movie, eat some ice cream.
But it doesn’t realy help. That isn’t really living. Because there is one important thing about God that I forget. He hasn’t asked me to save the world or to erradicate human trafficking or to support every child in India. He simply asks me do the next thing and to trust Him in the doing. He gently asks me to open the letter. And so I do.