What if I told you that I am a very selfish person, who mostly thinks of herself? Would you deny the truth of my words? Would you silently (or not so silently) agree with me? Would you turn away in disgust?
While I do think of others, and I do care very deeply for some, that does not take away from the fact that I am selfish.
I would like to – not only say that I am altruistic, giving, and thoughtful – but to actually be such a person, I don’t believe that would be an honest assessment of myself, and therefore I can’t say it.
Do I care at all when I hear that people throughout the world are being persecuted, tortured, murdered… living in constant fear? You can bet I do. It hurts me so deep… I feel an ache so strong… that it often seems I will never get past it.
Do I want to help? Absolutely. Though I can barely take care of myself, in the moment I would give nearly all I have to help someone in struggle. I could at least give something, and if I have the option, I will.
But the truth is that while I hurt for them, pray for them, give to them – mostly I am praying, “Please Lord, don’t let it come here.”
Notice I didn’t say don’t let THEM come here. No. I would that everyone could live without fear – but mostly I am afraid of experiencing it myself. Please don’t let it come here, I ask. As if it is okay so long as it is someone else’s suffering – but that is not what I meant.
When I go into counseling, and talk about things that have hurt me, she asks if I know that others in the world have it a lot worse. Do I know? Absolutely – help me to block it out! That is what I want to ask her. I know of the suffering in the world. It destroys me, and I have to… I HAVE to block it out, or I would go insane.
There but for the grace of God go I, I think… Please, Lord, don’t let it come here.
As if I believe I don’t deserve what they are experiencing – when I know that I do, and it causes me to tremble. As if they are suffering for things they have done – which might be true, but I know… I KNOW that isn’t always the case.
How can I pray for my own safety, while knowing of their fear and pain? Like praying that my son be kept from war, knowing other people’s children will have to go in his place. Please spare us the pain, LORD, I haven’t the strength to lose another. As if those fleeing from war torn countries are carrying forward through strength, not fear.
Why should I be spared, when others suffer? Please LORD, don’t let it happen to me.
There but for the grace of God go I.
We live in a fallen world, where pain, loss, and fear are all too prevalent. Do I know of the pain of others? Do I care? More than I could say. Still I pray for my own comfort; for my own safety. Please, Lord, provide a wood stove so that I can heat my home for less, I pray – while others go to bed another night with an empty stomach.
I am a selfish girl. Lord help me to be more like You.