By Eric Blauer
Saturday Night Live took on African Charities in a scathing poke at the way some non-profits spin fund gathering to help the poor. I find this very provocative but also quite problematic as we watch thousands of Africans being consumed by Ebola.
It’s interesting how world events can cause wide swings in public sentiment about international interventions when it comes to matters of suffering and injustice.
I fear we are inoculating people against compassion when our smartphones, computers, radios and TVs pump the ills and horrors of the world onto our screens at break neck speed. People are getting overloaded souls, agitated minds and calloused hearts out of near survival in order to process a balanced perspective about the apparent crumbling world.
When satire is the main source of political understanding, we run the risk of allowing cynicism to become the main lens through which we judge the world. Is it helping or hurting the poor and suffering when we lampoon every attempt of others to do something about the problems we are facing?
It reminds me of the analysis of Jesus about the generation in which he lived.
“What is this generation like? You are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out, “When we played the flute, you did not dance; and when we sang a dirge, you did not mourn.” What I mean is this: When John came, he dressed in the clothes of a prophet, and he did not eat and drink like others but lived on honey and wild locusts. And people wondered if he was crazy, if he had been possessed by a demon. Then the Son of Man appeared — He didn’t fast, as John had, but ate with sinners and drank wine. And the people said, “This man is a glutton! He’s a drunk! And He hangs around with tax collectors and sinners, to boot.” Well, Wisdom will be vindicated by her actions — not by your opinions. (Matthew 11:16-19/The Voice version).
Do you feel overloaded or compassion fatigue by everything you are supposed to care about, worry over or figure out the solution to fix?
Do you feel the temptation to “check out” or find it too easy to be cynical these days?
How can we handle our challenges and opportunities today when it seems like a new tragedy arrives weekly?
I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV, but I go by Eric, it sounds less like a megalomaniac but still hints at my Scandinavian destiny of coastal conquest and ultimate rule. I have accumulated a fair number of titles: son, brother, husband, father, pastor, writer, artist and a few other more colorful titles by my fanged fans. I am a lover of story be it heard, read or watched in all beauty, gory or glory. I write and speak as an exorcist or poltergeist, splashing holy water, spilling wine and breaking bread between the apocalypse and a sleeping baby. I am possessed by too many words and they get driven out like wild pigs and into the waters of my blog at www.fcb4.tumblr.com. I work as a pastor at Jacob’s Well Church (www.jacobswellspokane.com) across the tracks on ‘that’ side of town. I follow Christ in East Central Spokane among saints, sinners, angels, demons, crime, condoms, chaos, beauty, goodness and powerful weakness. I have more questions than answers, grey hairs than brown, fat than muscle, fire than fireplace and experience more love from my wife, family and friends than a man should be blessed with in one lifetime.