The darkest and most difficult things faced in our world are not faced by us in the West. Yes, the events which happen in the West may be the most shocking to us because we believe that we are in someway protected from the realities of the world in which others live day by day. But the deepest and darkest things are experienced by others.
It is disturbing that these things are reported with much less frequency and, it seems to me, with considerably less sense of outrage, and I wonder why that is?
Is it because these things happen far way? Is it because these people matter less to God than we do? Is it because these events do not fit with what is the accepted narrative in our press, that somehow we are under attack by a world which is either jealous of our values or fundamentally opposed to them.
I don’t know. …. I suspect that it is all three of these, … perhaps other reasons too.
What I do know for sure is that every single one of those killed in Istanbul, in Syria, in Bangladesh and in Iraq is a child of God, each one as valued in God’s sight as I am, … as my family are.
And it is to my shame that I am able so easily to miss the depth of pain and grief which their relatives face. It is to my shame that respond with a greater sense of grief and loss when these events happen closer to home. It is to my shame when I accept the analysis of our press in general that we are under siege by outside forces over which we have no control and which we need to fear.
The truth is that, even when we face deeply outrageous acts of terror, we are still, as nations in the West, so very well protected from what the rest of the world has to live with, that they have the power to shock us to our core. But we are happy to only notice in passing the horrors faced by others.
Yes, there are those who seek to help us engage with the gravity of what is faced day to day in Syria, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in other places of conflict.
But many of us manage, somehow, to allow these events to pass us by.
It is to my shame when I participate, even if unknowingly, in perpetuating such a distorted perspective on our world.