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When We Refuse to Look Away

I can't tell you how many times I've watched the news coming out of the Middle East with tears running down my face.

When tragedy happens in another country, it’s often much easier to use the privilege of distance and simply look away.

Looking away is easier. It can feel safer. And sometimes it feels like just looking and watching disaster from afar, accomplishes nothing. So why keep watching?

My friends, please keep watching. It actually does matter. Because one basic human desire the world over is to be seen.

Individually, we may not be able to fix the problems around the world - or even in our own city - but we can refuse to look away. We can choose to see those who are suffering and empathize with their pain.

One of my favorite quotes is by Gary Haugen, who founded the International Justice Mission. It says, “From the brave refusal to look away…a hope grounded on hard reality was found, and a steady march out of the darkness has begun.”

As much as I hate watching tragedy on the news, I refuse to look away. We all have different capacities for how much we can take in. But whatever your capacity is, choose to see.

When we truly see someone in the midst of their tragedy, their darkness doesn’t bind you to them. Your light pushes away their darkness. May we be the hope infusers that do all we can for those in need. Even if that all is to say, “I see you.”

Thank you for staying. For seeing. It does make a difference.

"From the brave refusal to look away...a hope grounded on hard reality was found, and a steady march out of the darkness had begun" -Gary Haugen

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