Friday, October 31, 2014

What Cynicism Can't Even Imagine

Today seems bleak. I'm not an optimist at the best of times but I've been seeing the good in people in recent years and hanging on to that thread of humanity as best I can. Today I feel like I've put too much weight on the thread and it's led to the unravelling of the comfortable sweater I've wrapped myself in.

I'm warning you. If you go into this any deeper, you may join me in the darkness of what is winding around my heart today.

In the midst of days that have seen domestic attacks on our military personnel here in Canada...on the heels of a not so distant shooting spree against RCMP officers on the east coast, I'm wondering if we're really so much different than any other country in the world. Governments and health care systems only function when there is stability and good infrastructure and frankly, peace helps.
Can we be so far from sliding off the grid? (I warned you....)

And then, this day. I wait to hear from our dear friends in Zambia if they are able to stay on the land they purchased 7 years ago. The person they bought the land from has decided that he only was charging them "rent" and so now believes he should be able to evict them and take over the home they worked so hard to build. A home that provides shelter for their 5 children. A home that is a symbol of their hard work and the stability that they are trying so very hard to maintain. So, yes, today is going to be long until I hear the word that they can stay and that this injustice will be averted. There's no guarantees.

And still, the wars rage on in Syria, Central African Republic, Eastern Congo...and I think of all those that I don't give thought to day to day...and I wonder about our turn. If it comes, will we really believe that there are those that will come to our defense? Particularly when we are worried about having enough candy to hand out to costumed children this evening...and consumed with our weekend plans and our jobs and all those really important things like why our high speed internet isn't quite fast enough? Oh, I'm on a roll now.

This may have been my unravelling this morning. Appropriately so. We're called to be human. Humane. Compassionate and caring. Yet when we are, the balance can tip so slightly towards despair and becoming distraught, which is where I find myself this morning.

There's a caveat here. The images are desperate and disturbing. I thought, "I can handle it."  I'm can't un-see what I've seen here. On Halloween, no less, when ghoulish and garish things are celebrated? I can think of nothing worse than what I've seen here. Not one thing.  Proceed with caution. I'm not sorry I've seen it...only that now I'm left with what can I do? And there's no easy answer here.

Claiming heartache or brokenness at the sight of these images doesn't touch what I really feel here.
It's as though any rose coloured tint left on my glasses has been forever removed. At least, I hope it has. Last warning....honestly...avert your eyes if you aren't ready. If you are, take time. Read the story that accompanies each photo. Let yourself be immersed in them. See the details. The dirt floors. The pain. The rustle of a health worker in a haz mat suit. The sound of grief. The screams of a boy. The blood in the streets. The murmured prayers.  Clarity comes with a very high price.

Images from the front lines of the fight against Ebola.

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