Yesterday, we had all sat down for a nice family dinner. We had prayed, ate, talked, ate, discussed our week, and ate some more. We solved world problems like whether we'd have strawberries or grapes for dessert. Then, I cleaned up.
As I was cleaning up, the kids were playing the wii and the hubs was scrolling through facebook on his phone when he exclaimed, "Wow."
Now, 'wow' hasn't particularly meant good news in our vocabulary over the past several weeks. I could tell by the shock on his face this 'wow' was following in typical fashion.
"Robin Williams is dead."
I was shocked. And sad.
"The Dead Poets Society was one of my all time favorite movies," I said, kind of to my husband, but mostly to myself.
Then - to find out that the actor, who had made me, and so many others, laugh for all of these years - had committed suicide. That was unfortunately not surprising but still very hard to swallow.
As I was cleaning up and thinking about the roles he'd played and the irony of not knowing a person at all, yet mourning their loss, another thought hit me, 'Facebook is blowing up right now with trending Robin Williams' status updates, and it's only a matter of time...'
It's only a matter of time until people compare this to children starving...
Or the riots in St. Louis (surprising, yet, not surprising for this area of St. Louis, for those of you not from there...)...
Or... and most likely this one... the children being beheaded, the Christians being killed for their faith in the middle - east.
I felt guilt in my thinking of Robin Williams' family. I felt guilt in thinking of the demons he'd been fighting - seemingly unarmed. I felt guilt that I didn't 'care enough' or 'hurt enough' or 'pray enough' for the Christians being slaughtered over seas.
Sure enough, it hasn't taken long. I can list about twenty different blogs I've glanced at, just today, talking about the celebrities we make to be idols, or the real problems our world is facing, or why we should be more concerned about beheaded children. (I also read another blog that significantly questioned what for sure IS really happening in the middle east... regardless, it's not good.)
All of that said - I finally feel good about where I stand on this.
I am sad about the loss of Robin Williams'. I did enjoy his work. He held value as a human being and used his gift to benefit others well.
I am sad, angry, and a little bit shocked (though I shouldn't be) about the brothers and sisters that I have in Christ who are being persecuted in ways we could never imagine. It hurts me on another plane. I fear the future for my children and grand children. I know that the world is big, but the world is small, and the last genocide we saw like this affected everyone.
And I have reconciled that I can mourn both of these. I can harbor emotion for both. I can pray for both. I should pray for both.
But ultimately, where I've come to stand is that this is a grueling reflection of our current condition.
Christians being literally taken out for their faith.
Another man taking himself out due to hopelessness and despair.
A whole city rioting and causing utter havoc in the streets.
And then there are the personal battles we fight daily... currently, they are just as ugly.
Quite frankly, I don't see this as being a problem in prioritizing problems, I see this as one big sin problem. Sin is ugly. It is rampant. It knows no economic class, no profession, no culture. It does not show favorites.
The enemy is real. He is ugly. He causes havoc in our selves, in our families, our cities, our countries and our churches.
The answer to the problem is Jesus. He may not rescue (as we'd see rescuing) all of those Christians in the middle-east out of their current situations, but He is good. He may not offer a life void of sadness, but He is enough. He may not ease the tension in cities, countries or states, but it's only through Him there is hope.
So - rather than fight the fight against fellow Christians on what is worth fighting for - I'd suggest that they are all worth fighting for. That depressed friend you have, they are worth fighting for. Our brothers and sisters over seas, they are worth fighting for. The alcoholic co-worker you have who abuses his wife, yeah, he is worth fighting for (and so is she, for that matter). What kind of Jesus are we displaying? Are we willing to step outside of ourselves and love all people well.
So I'll tear up for the Disney pictures of Aladdin saying 'Good - bye, Al', and I'll say gut wrenching prayers for those living a completely different reality thousands of miles from my front door. But I will not do one thing, I will not argue with you on the right thing to be concerned about. It's our current condition, and that is concerning.