A woman in China lies in a hospital bed beside her forcibly aborted baby,
Marriages are shaken by infidelity and addiction,
Natural disasters leave entire communities destroyed,
Lives are devastated by drug, gun, human trafficking,
Refugees cling to inflatable rafts in icy waters,
War rages across the world, Christians are slaughtered,
Mothers lose their children, families lose each other, people die.
And here I sit, in my comfortable apartment with my loving husband, my daughter, my son. We have food to eat, a car to drive, safety, privilege, rights, and yet I find things to complain and worry about.
I go to the grocery store with Augustine and people ask me if he's my first and I gush with pride as I tell them about my daughter, Lily, who stayed at home with daddy this time so I could have a little time with just my son. But on the other side of the world, there are women who are denied even their own children. I think of the "big Catholic family" stereotype we have in America and I wonder how much it stings for the mothers of China, whose fertility is so strictly and wrongfully regulated by their government. They will never have the experiences that I take for granted, and my heart aches so deeply for them.
And when I am weary from the evils of this world as I so often am, I am encouraged by the Joy of the Gospel. God is so good, even when the darkness seems to be stronger.
Each day, I try to take in the great sufferings throughout the world and the great joys of the Gospel, and something happens. There is a shift in my worldview, and suddenly the world makes sense.
Christ brings perspective.
How can I remain unmoved in the face of this pain? How can I continue to live a life of comfort and ease and selfishness and apathy in light of the suffering of humanity? And at the same time, how can I stop myself from sharing the Joy of Jesus, of love, of the beauty of life that we've been given?
My faith gives me a perspective that is so different from that of our culture that I can't even understand the world at times. It makes no sense to me, and it's something I struggle with. For a long time, I thought I might have been depressed because "things that interested me in the past no longer interested me anymore", but I've been realizing that it's actually because of the great joys that I have encountered, the great pains I've witnessed and walked through, and the great promise of eternity that we find in Christ. This is where my perspective comes from.
Though I am flawed and broken and struggle with prioritizing and worrying, perfect perspective comes from growing in Christ. So I'll keep asking for His grace and His strength.