“What’s for dinner?” my husband asked. “Just pizza,” I replied, pointing to the box of frozen pizza on the counter. “Just pizza?” he said with a curious smile, implying my obvious ingratitude. “Okay,” I rolled my eyes, “We get to have pizza tonight!” I exclaimed in my most enthusiastic voice. (But not very convincingly.)
As I threw together a quick salad to go with it, my mind stayed glued on my husband’s implication. “Just pizza?”
My mind flashed to the news I heard that morning: Thousands of innocent people stranded on top of a mountain without food or water for seven days, waiting for rescue, or death.
Men, women, children, babies–hungry and thirsty. What they would give for even a morsel of any food.
Every day I have food and water. I rate things like a frozen pizza ‘a kind of crappy dinner.’ I push my cart through aisles of food. Thousands of choices. Varieties. I can’t even decide there are so many choices. I can eat what I want, whenever I want. Without a thought.
60 children are confirmed dead on top of Mt. Sinjar tonight–from extreme temperatures, hunger, and thirst.
I grieve for these little ones tonight. I have been given so much. Most of the world has so little. And I don’t even know it. They usually seem so far away. Like another world.
But tonight they seem so close.
I lay in my warm bed with my husband. My daughter sleeps across the hall in her crib–safe right now. Another report surfaces in my mind: hundreds of young women have been taken captive by the militants with “vicious” plans for them, and are being held in schools in Mosul, “most likely being abused in demeaning ways by the terrorists,” Amin reported, “to satisfy their animalistic urges in a way that contradicts all the human and Islamic values.”
Tears roll off my cheeks into my pillow. I lay in my bed wondering, what it would be like, to be one of them? What horrors do they face tonight?
My husband rolls over and tells me, “You’ve just been reading the news the last few days, Bekah. But this kind of stuff is going on all the time, all over the world.”
He is right. I hate that he is right. This is our world. The one Jesus came for. Because it’s broken and hurting and so very sick. Sometimes evil things can masquerade as beautiful ones…but sometimes the whole world turns and sees evil for what it is.
Urgency courses through my blood stream. And yet, I don’t know what to do. I pray desperately for their rescue. I ask God to send angels to war for them. To save them. I can’t stop thinking about them. Babies are dying of starvation and young girls are being raped. Every day. This is reality–even if I can’t see it.
I grow increasingly restless, unsure of what my hands can do, or my voice can speak, or my wallet can spend to help, help this injustice all over the world…to stop. I don’t know what I can do, but once I do, I hope to do it with all my might.
What can I do tonight? Tomorrow?
Stop complaining about things that are only “first world” preferences, and start being relentlessly grateful for what I have. Like food. Water. And that God has sustained me, and my family one more day on this earth.
This means: I need to not be picky about food. Not a little bit. Not ever. I need to never ever say again, “Just pizza.” I need to never apologize to my family or my dinner guests for what I am serving them.
Instead I will serve them whatever food God has supplied, like it’s the best meal on earth.
For, “godliness with contentment is great gain,” and, “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:6,8
We will hold hands and say “grace.” And mean it. By God’s grace we have been given this food, this water.
This life. For one more day.
[I know this is a real and serious situation, not just in Iraq, but globally. And learning gratitude is only a small part. If you know of, or participate with any social justice organizations, or, can share any practical involvement or beneficial resources, please share in the comments section.]
Heart wrenching. Thanks for the awareness and I’m sending prayers to these children and women. No more complaining about our little stuff!
Absolutely! We have been given SO much! 🙂 I am glad you are praying for them too! May God bring the rescue they need, and show us how to help!
Thank you so much for writing about this. Such a good/needed reminder to pray hard for these people. Love ya Bekah!
Of course! I just could not stop thinking about these people, and I wanted to write about it before my sensitivity toward this vanished. I need to write about it to remind myself: this is real. Thank you for reading, and I am glad you are praying for their rescue. Love you too girl!
Your words are so true, thanks for the reminder.
If you are in Australia you can sign this petition: http://refugees.acl.org.au
Another link for you. – things you can do to help. http://www.christiantoday.com/article/crisis.in.iraq.six.things.you.can.actually.do.to.help/39094.htm
You are so welcome! And thank you so much for sending some links to get more involved–I will definitely be checking them out! And hopefully other readers will too! Thank you again!!
I truly am so thankful for your help, I have been trying to raise more awareness through my fb page tonight, and your second link was helpful in finding so many great resources. I checked out “Christian Aid” and found they ARE a credible charity to give to. Thank you for your help!
A pleasure. I have a friend who is very involved in social justice who has been sharing via facebook numerous ways we can help. Hopefully the more these links are shared, the more people can help.
Join another mom and others that feel the same way you do and pray together with us tomorrow!
Thank you for inviting me! Unfortunately the link did not work for me, however, I love that you are praying for this situation. I talked to a friend today that said they felt like they couldn’t do anything about Iraq. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that prayer actually does do something! Our intercession is truly important and needed and powerful. Thank you for praying!
Thank you for sharing this. My heart feels it cannot break any deeper for these sweet souls. I wish to weep but what good are my tears really? I will join you in prayer, fervent prayer, that somehow a miracle will find its way to them.
Thank you as well for the reminder: I have been given so much, and yet I so often take it for granted.
Yes, I can’t get these people out of my mind. In fact, I’m in the process of writing another post about the situation regarding a few things we can actually do to help the persecuted Church in Iraq. We have been given so much–and often I am so blind to that fact! May God open our eyes to what we are blessed with, and open our eyes to the hurting world we live in. Actually, the post you wrote about First World Problems really got my wheels turning a few weeks back–and helped me start developing a new perspective. I think it was partly due to that, that my heart was soft enough to respond to the news of the Iraq crisis in this way. Usually, I am more “numb” to these things. But not anymore. So thank you for helping to reorient my heart in the direction I need to go.
Blessings in Christ,
Yes! I’ve been feeling overwhelmed this year by the statistics pouring in about human trafficking. The city I live in, Houston, ranks number one among U.S. cities thought to have the most of these victims.
Even more that that, I’ve been keenly aware of our “first-world problems,” like my dishwasher messing up or my washing machine leaking a little, or us “needing” different sheets on our pillow-top mattress because the ones we have are scratchy. Lord, help us. We’re a sleeping nation, blissfully unaware of what it truly means to suffer. Praying for revival in the hearts of American Christians.
My sister wrote a blog post with suggestions for what to do about the crisis in Iraq. Please check it out & consider participating in the social media campaign http://interiorhouselife.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/starting-a-social-media-revolution/
Thank you for sharing! I just finished reading it, and it is excellent. I completely agree with her, and I will be thinking hard and praying about how to start or participate in a social media campaign, along with fervently praying for our brother and sisters over there. Please keep me in the loop if she finds a way to begin one, or something I can do to help! I am currently writing another post on how to help the persecuted Church in Iraq myself, and I am so encouraged others are as well. We truly need to spread the awareness about what is actually happening. Thank you.
Some friends who read the blog I linked to and the article http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/baghdad-bishop-issues-prayer-challenge-for-peace-in-iraq-97111/ have started posting on Facebook what prayer they have done (some with pics) for Iraq and then challenged (à la ice bucket challenge) others to also pray. Others have posted that they have accepted the challenge & tagged others. I suppose you could participate in that if you would like.