Disturbed, Not Dismissive

Friends, when was the last time you were disturbed, instead of dismissive, of a sad story?

Every week I hear one heart-breaking story after another.  My greatest prayer is that my heart would never grow cold, hardened, or undisturbed by the pain I see pouring out of people’s eyes.  Many days, I wonder how I can maintain like this.  The heaviness can be overwhelming.  I find myself desperately begging that God would increase my resolve and my resilience without making me calloused in the least measure.  Jesus help me.

Friends, when was the last time you were disturbed, instead of dismissive, by the pain, hunger, or brokenness in another’s eyes?

For me, it was last night, as I worked on editing the footage we shot last week for a new campaign called “Speak Out.”  Lexington Fairness is launching this campaign to prevent and educate about bullying.  My friend was contracted to do the video, and he invited me into the project.

My heart is wrecked.  Here’s a snapshot of folks I’ve met and interactions I’ve had in the past week:

  1. A beautiful 14-year old young woman who has been bullied so heavily she had to switch schools.  Her peers call her a science experiment because she is biracial.  She cuts herself, daily sometimes, to feel better.  She stopped eating so they would stop calling her fat (she’s not overweight).  This girl sat in a room of strangers and told her story in front of a camera, choking back tears so that she could contribute to an anti-bullying project.  One of her best friends committed suicide last year because of the same bullies that pick on her.  She says that losing him has made her a stronger person.  She says if not for him, she would probably have taken her own life by now too.
  2. A transgender young adult who has had to take care of her disabled mother through her teenage years.  She says that random donations people took up for her so that she could go to college saved her life.
  3. The grieving parents of a boy who took his life last year because kids at school were bullying him.  He was bright, kind-hearted, good-looking, and well-dressed.  With the pull of a trigger, he was suddenly gone.
  4. The mother of a transgender son.  Kids set his hair on fire and threatened to shoot him.  One stabbed him with a pencil.  Teachers turned a blind eye.  She wondered every day when she came home from work if she was going to find him dead.
  5. A closeted Christian man.  He and his partner have “given in” and accepted that they’re “just going to end up in hell” because neither of them know how or why to change their orientations.

Friends, ought not the church to be a place where we are disturbed, instead of dismissive?

Friends, when was the last time you were disturbed, instead of dismissive?

I’m disturbed.  I’m losing sleep, because all I can think about is how these children need our help.  Screw sleeping!  Kids are dying.  I’ll blog and email until 1 AM every night if it will save a life.  Every time I close my eyes, I see the scars on that young woman’s arms and I hear the helplessness in her voice as she talked about each person who had dismissed her.

I refuse to sit by while Christ-followers justify and dismiss the wounds.  I won’t rest until this changes.  I will work tirelessly.  This grief-stricken generation must know there is a God who cares.  I am overwhelmed with rage and heartbreak.

My heart is broken.  I am disturbed.

What disturbs you?

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