In my first post about reading the news, I talked about praying through pictures before jumping into opinions.
It got me thinking about how I connect to people in the news and about which ones it is easiest to have compassion on. The answer was simple:
The ones I know.
For example, a couple years ago I was working as a translator in a local middle school. One night after school, one of my students saw someone shoot her uncle. He died immediately. And then nothing happened.
No one called the police and the man that shot him continued on.
The entire family was here as undocumented immigrants. If they called the police, they would likely be deported. So they let it go. He wasn’t the first family member that had been killed.
A week later, Camila walked into school with glazed eyes. It was hard to believe it was the same girl I laughed with just a week ago. She would never be the same. Over the past couple years, I have watched many of her classmates pass her by. She isn’t as honest or open anymore. She is an innocent child who never chose this life, but lives in fear and brokenness.
Whenever I read about any kind of shooting, I can’t help but think of Camila. I think of the innocent children affected in every act of violence. I think of the injustices that no-one sees. My heart breaks for her all over again and I usually begin to pray.
I am not saying that we should ignore laws or condone illegal things, but when we are talking about people that we know and love, we lead with compassion and prayer, not opinions.
There are many areas where it is harder for me to lead with compassion because they affect people that I do not know. As I write to you today, I am reminded of the importance of seeking out people to love and listen to everyday.
How do you seek to read the news with compassion?
* name changed for privacy