Noise.

It sure is noisy in these here parts of my interwebs world.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 

Refugees. Terrorists. Veterans. Illegals. Retaliation. Justice.

There are so many blog posts, newspaper articles, videos and opinion pieces doing the rounds. And yes I see the irony in writing this very piece.

I’ve seen posts in favour of absolutely every possible action and thought out there. I guess that should come as no surprise as I know a lot of people all over the world, and these people all have vastly different backgrounds and current situations, and all sorts of ‘flavours’ of political and religious views.

If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump”, and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 

He said, she said, they said.

It makes my head hurt as I struggle to find truth in among opinions. As I search for facts and not become distracted by fiction.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. 

Maybe you’re not quite as bombarded by such different thoughts as I am, maybe your social media world is not as varied as mine is, but still you’re feeling puzzled as to what to think on these big issues the world is facing at the moment…l can’t give you any answers. I can’t give you any solutions. I certainly can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t believe.

But I can tell you this little ditty; fear thrives where ignorance prevails.

Much of what I see and read online comes from a place of fear. Many people give voice and words to thoughts when they don’t feel in control and they may not always recognize themselves as being fearful, but I think a lot of things originate from that. And much of this comes from ill-formed opinions, not based on real knowledge.

And fears tend to shout. Fears tend to need to be heard. Fears also feed off of each other. But fears are often silenced with knowledge. And with attempting to know the full story.

I could go completely off social media for a while, but I value my relationships too much for that. Instead, the best thing I can do, to try to eliminate some of the superfluous noise infiltrating my world, is to concentrate on giving more of my attention to the whispers of wisdom out there.

Because as much as fear shouts and fear builds upon more fear, I believe wisdom is out there for us to take a hold of too.

Wisdom utters calm and dependable thoughts. Wisdom under-girds solid and hopeful solutions. Let’s look and listen for the gentle whispers in all of this. Let’s look and listen to the wise souls that speak hope into the dark situations. They are out there. They deserve our attention.

So, no matter what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 

 

(Words in italics from 1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 7, The Message Bible)

Desperation.

Desperation is seeing a word on a train, mistaking it to be a destination in a country you’re hoping to get to, and boarding that train amidst a pressing crowd, and against the authorities wishes.

Desperation is pushing your wife and infant onto railroad tracks and grabbing hold of them of them and holding on for dear life, with gritted teeth literally biting your wife’s clothing. Attempting to stay together, attempting to reach a desired destination, against all odds.

Desperation is passing your terrified child over the heads of a surging crowd, willing your child to make it onto the transport out of your miserable no mans land.

Desperation makes people do desperate things.

I can’t remember the last time I was genuinely desperate for anything.

If you’re reading this, I imagine you’re the same. You know you live in a completely different level of comfort than many of our brothers and sisters experiencing displacement right now. And you’re moved by the stark images you’re seeing of the refugee crisis. You truly are. But you don’t know how or where you can help.

Here are some things you can do. I’ve collated some things that little ole me, and little ole you can do. Many years ago I wore a shirt that bore the words ‘when desperation exceeds our fears, progress begins’.

Friends, it is time for progress. 

  •  If you’re in New Zealand, please sign this petition to increase the refugee quota.
  • If you’re in Australia, please sign this petition, urging the Australian government to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees.
  • Tear Fund New Zealand makes these suggestions: Write to your local MP or the Minster of Immigration.  Donate to us as we help the refugees in practical ways. Take part in a protest march (details on www.tearfund.org.nz). Volunteer with a refugee agency here in NZ.
  • And Ann Voskamp gives five examples of things we can do in her recent blog post here.

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