I was driving my kids to school this morning and I decided to turn on the radio to listen to a little music then the news came on. The headline was in reference to the Brussels attack in Belgium. So, of course I listened intensely to see if there were possibly any new details to the cause of the brutal outbreak. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in the news that I forgot that my children were also listening until my five-year-old said, “Mama, can you please turn that off? Somebody said people got killed and died and it’s making me sad.”
My heart immediately filled with sorrow for my son then I responded, “I’m sorry baby! I’ll turn it off now!” After I turned off the radio he then indicated to me that he didn’t want me to turn off the radio but he only wanted to listen to “something good”. So I turned the radio back on and turned it to another Christian station- something good.
However, while I was driving, my heart shifted towards the victims who simply couldn’t change their receiver to something good. My heart was towards the children whose parents could not change their radio station. While I’m able to shield my children from the horror of others realities, there are mothers right now-all over the world- who have the brutal task of telling their children, ‘I can’t change your radio station baby, this is our reality’. I get to shield my children, while they must teach their children to hide, fight and protect themselves at all cost.
I changed my radio station for my children so that they can receive something that was good to their ears and medicine to their souls. As they danced around in the car, guilt then started to overwhelm me- not because I have the luxury of shielding my children from such heinous acts of hate- but because I realized that this is what most of us do- we change the station on our neighbors who are hurting. Somehow we think that if it’s not our problem then it’s not our issue– But the contradiction in this is that when it becomes a problem for us personally, then we want it to be everyone’s issue. Yes, all of this was going on in my mind and I had to do a “selfie-check”. I changed the station for my children but I also realized that I have to find a way to let them know that life outside of them still can affect them-and that true living is when we learn how to live in such a way that it brings life to those who may be barely existing. So I stopped the car and let them know that the reality is that even though, we are safe and protected, there are other children and families in the world who aren’t and we must find ways to help bring protection to them so they will feel the same security we do- we then prayed and asked God to show us how to help our neighbors who are hurting.
When I think of all the misplaced Syrian refugees, the water crisis in Flint Michigan and many, many other brutal realities others are facing, I can’t help but to begin seeing myself through the eyes of those who are hurting, downtrodden, misplaced and abandoned. I chose to turn the radio station to something more pleasant for my children because no child should be subjected beforehand, to a hateful world they don’t even understand yet. But for the mothers and fathers who can’t change their radio station and guard their children from the cruelty of the world-I will keep my station turned on to you and your problems are my issues!!!
I will listen to what is going on with you-and although I may not have much to offer right now, I will give what I know I do have- I have my listening ears ready to hear how you can be helped and I have my voice that is ready to speak up and speak out about who you ALL are and what you need- and I have my God whom I will continue to call on to save us from the hands of our enemies.
It is my issue!