Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about her child starting school this year. She told me that she could not begin to describe how stressful the experience of deciding on the appropriate school (private, public, Christian, home school) can be. I told her that I did not even want to think about it. I had already started to stress about where my kids should go to school, if they would be ready for school, etc. I was stressed because I want my children to have the "best" of everything – the best opportunities, the best education, etc.
Last night, I received a magazine and was immediately convicted when I read an article. The article was about "honor killings" and "honor suicides" that are taking place in Turkey. According to the article, when young girls "disgrace" their family by talking to a boy or wearing Western cloths, the country sometimes has "Honor killings" of the person that disgraced the family. Now Turkey is attempting to join the European Union, and a new trend has emerged. Honor killings are down, but suicides are up. Many girls that were in the article had been sent messages stating that if they did not kill themselves the family would kill them.
I was immediately convicted because I am so myopic in my view of the world. While I, like many Americans, am stressed about buying the right cloths, living in a good neighborhood, and ensuring that my family has the "best", others in the world are searching for their next meal, being sold into slavery, or being tormented. It is sad that as Americans, we all know when Britney Spears is in rehab, but we have little or no knowledge about the suffering and the sadness that is happening in the larger world around us.
Psalm 139:13-16 says:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
This description of God's love is not limited to describing Americans, or Christians, or people that look and act just like us. This passage speaks of the love and care that God used to knit each member of the human race together in their mother's womb. As Christians, I fear that we often fail to realize the value and beauty of all human life.
I do not know the answer to the world's problems, but I was convicted when I realized that I cannot begin to find answers if I am not even aware of the problems.