Why don’t you care?

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Why don’t you care?
There are kids dying of hunger everywhere
There are refugees who need our help
There are orphans who need families

Why aren’t you helping?
There are vets committing suicide
There are homeless people begging for help
Racism is still an issue
Why don’t you care? Why aren’t you helping?

This sentiment seems to be everywhere lately.
I see someone write about a tragedy and he or she will immediately get torn apart for being biased.  For only caring about children in Africa while people are killed in Syria, or ignoring children, or not caring about the right things.
Can we just pause for a moment and think about that? Someone shows love and compassion to another person and we say, “you are doing it wrong, you don’t care enough, otherwise, you would care about ALL THE THINGS” By all the things, we usually mean, “my thing, my issue, my cause”.

I don’t think the issue is that people don’t care.
I think people care a lot, but they get overwhelmed.  We can’t handle caring for everything.
I can’t handle the pain of all the hurting people. It is literally too much for both my head and my heart. And besides, me being sad because others are dying, it helps nothing. It just means that I’m sad, and people are still dying.

I can help though.  I can pick a person, a group of people, a cause, and love them the best that I can.  I can give money, time and energy to a cause, to people I am passionate about.  I can advocate for people. I can join communities and be a friend, a supporter, a voice.

Continue to fight for people and issues you care about.  Shout about how others can join you, but stop expecting everyone to care about what you do with the same intensity.  I understand the media is biased, and Facebook only allowed you to support one country after a tragedy. I get it, it’s frustrating, some causes are given more attention. Maybe that’s your fight.  It’s okay if it isn’t mine.

Find your cause, your passion, the thing that you care so deeply about and you do that thing.  When you see someone else doing their thing, encourage them, but stop feeling guilty that it isn’t your thing.  You can’t care about all the issues.  Whenever I try to care about too much, I get overwhelmed, and then I shut down because it’s too much.  When you shut down, no one wins.

You are the only you. Your heart is incredible.  Own it, follow it, go where it’s leading you.
Don’t be upset that my heart is leading me somewhere else.  If I say, “I’m adopting from another country”, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about the children in my own country.  If I adopt from my own country, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about kids in other countries.  If I give to an organization in Haiti, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about other organizations in Haiti, or Africa, or the United States. Stop asking people, “why don’t you care” when they aren’t fighting alongside you and ask “what sets your heart on fire?”.  Helping one person isn’t an attack on your passions, it just means that my passions might be different from yours.  That seems like a good thing to me.  If we all love differently, how beautiful could that be?

One thought on “Why don’t you care?

  1. I like your post. (It is not the first that I liked.) And I appreciate your point.

    That said, I want to make a distinction too, because I sense myself caught up in your remarks in a way I myself have often struggled with. As I point a finger, I have three more pointing back, and one of them barks at me somethings very much like what you say in your post. And yet, that does not settle the issue for me.

    I hope you will consider my comment here as dialog, and not a snide response. Certainly, if you can straighten me out, I will welcome it. I have an open mind and an open heart. That does not mean I leave it unguarded, but I am open to reason. And your post is reasonable.

    However, you used this sentence:

    “I don’t think THE ISSUE is that people don’t care.” (EMPHASIS MINE).

    You did not actually say you were boiling it all down to a single issue, but I think rhetorically, it is there. And then you describe complexity preventing one caring heart from touching another.

    Like you, I care about cancer, tsunamis, Haiti, and Detroit. I care about Syria, politics, war, terrorism in California as well as France, also the economy and so forth. And like you have pointed out, I focus my energy and time on the issue of homelessness, particularly in Lubbock, Texas. I rarely make comment on any of the other issues, but I care A LOT. I rarely do more than pray for the other issues, and a lot of time I barely do that. They are peripheral for me, and I am not a great multitasker.

    But I do call out the sins against the homeless in my town and point out the lack of care given there regularly. In fact, I am probably the loudest (though not always (and not the only)) critic of the premier homeless church in Lubbock. I acknowledge that this church does a number of good things to serve Jesus in regard to the homeless even, but I continually point out the places where leadership there DOES NOT CARE!

    My point is that frequently, that church, as per leadership whom I have met with face-to-face to discuss this stuff with, repeatedly closes the doors on these vulnerable brothers and sisters – even when it is extreme weather! But even then, I did not go public with my complaints until after I myself, and other friends with me, approached the leadership offering to do the dirty work of chaperone for the homeless in the church facilities so that leadership’s time and energy would not be taxed. But leadership said, NO.

    When asked to elaborate, leadership gave a number of reasons which were wrong headed and/or lame. “We don’t have volunteers to help” – was the first. I rebutted with a list of volunteers ready to go. “We need to teach these people a lesson….” Woe… Really??? Got one in the Bible? I have some… and they don’t take that tack at all! “Well, Agent X, when we do that too often, someone among the homeless begins claiming this corner as theirs, or that pew as theirs, or that mattress pad as theirs, and they become selfish about it.” Really? Where I go to church, Widow Jones does exactly that same thing! But no one makes a fuss about it. And anyway, you are leaving your own flock outside in the night – AND in dangerous weather! And this over claiming a pew??? Is that what a shepherd does? Is that what Jesus would do?

    In this case, the issue is not that there is too much complexity, it is that I am being prevented by the church from doing the ministry God has given me to do! And I can’t figure out where leadership does that AND has ground to stand on where they claim that they CARE.

    I protested leadership and they kicked me out. I went to the streets and slept in alleys and worshiped with the poor there. The premier homeless church started a fundraising campaign and has successfully raise 10’s of thousands that I personally know of, and 100’s of thousands that is claimed for them by others. This money is raised largely from people who care about the poor, but who are focused elsewhere – say cancer, politics, terrorism etc… They find it easy to send $100 to this charity as an expression of their hearts, while their main focus is elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, I as the critic kicked out, notice all the new staff vehicles and expanded office space. I notice staff taking longer and more frequent vacations. AND I notice the poor still sent out into the night. These are my observations. I am not holding court here on your blog and finding them guilty. I am not presenting evidence to a jury in that way with you here. If you lived in Lubbock, I would invite you to go down and check it all out for yourself, for shining a light on the matter is a good thing, I think. But my point with you is about my words and actions as one who cares and pointing out/criticizing others for not caring.

    I will grant that the premier homeless church in Lubbock does a number of good things for the homeless. I wonder why they insist on closing the doors on them though. I devoted myself to that ministry and got kicked out doing so. Why? Am I just an obstinate crank? In a day and age when political candidates are idiots bantering their dialogs of the deaf and swaying masses, I fear I cannot be distinguished from such garbage. Am I just one more loud mouth jerk?

    That is possible. And I have to look myself in the mirror and analyze that every day.

    But if I am reasonable and trying to serve Jesus, then what do I do with that?

    I have turned prophetic. I am Ezekiel’s guard on the wall. I have announced the coming enemy, and I did not sit silent hoping he would go away. If he breaches the wall while God’s people sleep inside it ignoring the watchmen, their blood is at least not on my hands.

    That is a sad consolation.

    Anyway, this is the kind of questions my soul wrestles with frequently. I used to be a much richer part of bigger ministry/ministries in this town. But when I took a stand at certain forks in the road, the others I was working among, took the wrong turn. I keep shouting into the woods that the right path is back this way, but they seem to insist that they go on without me down their own way. And in some deeply profound ways, I sense that they don’t even care.

    Hmmm…

    No. None of what I have said here opposes what you have said. But I challenge what you have said to consider more complexity than it has already. I think plenty of us fit neatly into your observation. I think your observation comes very near to describing me too. But I also think I present more complexity at the same time.

    Thanks for the post. I look forward to more…

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

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