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We cannot give up now. We are chosen. by Jen Fournier

“The biggest humanitarian crisis in the world is in Yemen.”

I looked up from my book at Emma, trying to figure out why she had chosen to break into the tiny moment of peace and quiet I was enjoying after a really challenging week.

I gave her a look largely reserved for Yorkie puppies when they are asked a question. She sighed at me and continued, “The largest humanitarian crisis in the world is in Yemen. The UN just reported on it. Four out of five people need lifesaving aid. And what are we supposed to do about it? Trick-or-treat for UNICEF?” She rolled her eyes at her own sarcastic remark.

Emma then continued on with the day’s news; Black Lives Matter protests, Rayshard Brooks‘ murder, climbing COVID cases. She went on: staggering unemployment rates, isolation of the elderly. It didn’t end. The kicker was new information about how her grad school program will all be online. By the time she took a breath all I wanted to do was to eat a pint of ice cream. Under the covers. In the dark. And to go to sleep.

Wake me when it’s over, please. Because the challenges we face are enormous, plentiful, and draining.

I don’t know if I can handle one more humanitarian crisis.

When it comes to fighting for what is right, we humans struggle in maintaining our efforts. Heartbreak is a hard position to motivate from when hopelessness takes over. Sustained action rooted in anger can only last so long. Most of us don’t have nearly enough money to donate to all of the front line organizations working endlessly to end hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression. And let’s be honest, the vast majority of us do not put in the effort to champion for causes we haven’t chosen as critical to our personal life. Further, we perceive that some civil rights and social justice initiatives have little to no impact on our particular lives. We tend to slip back into what we know once the pain dulls and anger simmers. We take care of ourselves and loved ones, perhaps a community to which we belong. The rhythms of our life, the ones that are familiar, lull us back.

And this is why injustice continues. This is why our black and brown brothers and sisters are skeptical when it comes to legitimate systemic change. This is why people are shedding their masks. This is why people have chosen to give up and let somebody else figure it out.

It’s just too hard. Changing habits and perspectives takes focused effort and energy. Besides, other people will continue the fight so what difference does it make if we don’t do our part?

All the difference.

We are chosen

Recently I have been watching a fantastic series called The Chosen which is a multi-season show about Jesus; specifically from the lens of His disciples. The writer and director, Dallas Jenkins, depicts the struggle that comes along with an awakening of the mind and spirit. He reveals the challenge of taking care of self versus taking care of others. The Chosen demonstrates the power of peacefully and consistently working for change no matter how much it disrupts life. And while I won’t go into further details about The Chosen right now, I will leave you with a description of the show’s logo. It is a school of black fish, swimming in a large counter-clockwise circle with 13 green fish swimming clockwise. The black fish represent all of those who go with the flow. The green fish depict Jesus and the disciples, swimming hard against the current.

We cannot give up now. We are chosen. by Jen Fournier

I am tempted, like so many, to let the world slip back into the dysfunctional, unjust systems because it is easy. But I cannot unsee or unlearn all I have been exposed to in recent months. Jesus did not physically tap me on the shoulder and say “join me”. (He did that with Mary (yes, Mary), Simon Peter, Andrew, Matthew and the other disciples) No, Jesus did not tap my shoulder. He tapped me through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives inside of me and guides my choices to listen, learn, change, evolve, vote, weep, question, and challenge. I cannot change everything. I cannot fix the issues in Yemen. I cannot write new laws by myself. I’m not the person to create a vaccine or solve unemployment.

But there is so much I can do. There is so much you can do. Please don’t give up. Don’t let your life slip back to what was and ignore what is and what needs to be. We are chosen.

This is not easy work, friends. I pray that you will be sustained in your efforts to swim against the tide. Ice cream is absolutely required to make it through the most miserable moments, no doubt. But let’s eat it while we keep walking forward toward the light instead of under the cover of darkness.

How are you swimming against the tide and what is fortifying you for the journey? How have you been chosen? I’d love to hear more in the comments below.



PS~ Go check out The Chosen either here or on YouTube and let me know what you think!

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