By Carol Reimer. Carol is an alumnus of the University of Winnipeg, International Development and English Departments. Her perspective has been formed through her work with at-risk child care in Winnipeg, Canada, community urban farming in Havana, Cuba and debt-reduction programming in Cape Town, South Africa.
The truth is that my heart has been repeatedly broken for people around the world. Through study and travel I have learned about and seen injustice, oppression and unimaginable cruelty. I’ve wept and despaired and asked why. I’ve cast blame and sought solutions, and have solved nothing. The time for thinking and grieving is past.
Ezekiel was given a time of grief when God tells him, “Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief” (Ezekiel 21:6). It is important to allow ourselves time to grieve – to acknowledge people that have suffered and to share in their pain. We bind ourselves to each other when we share in, not only the joys and successes, but the heartache and pain. If we find ourselves completely at a loss to effect any change, at the very least we can stand in solidarity with our neighbours and grieve with them.
Grief also wounds our hearts to action. We cannot allow emotion to remain emotion. It must become active compassion. Tears are evidence of hearts touched, but if that’s as far as it goes, we remain useless to the people we weep for. Many of us have the luxury of deciding whether or not to stand and fight. We are not forced by circumstance to beat back injustice and protect the broken and vulnerable. Tears may come, but at the same time we need to pick up our weapons and prepare to do battle. We need to step out into action and work to make sure that there is no further cause to grieve.
In the past, heartbreak for what’s happened and what continues to happen around me has left me motionless, staring at the wall in my bedroom. Helpless and depressed. That feeling has festered and now I’m angry. I’m angry at what has been allowed to happen, at the audacity of evil people and the arrogance of lazy people. I’m angry at hearts that are callous and immobile. People that are self seeking and comfortable. I’m angry at myself for not doing more, but frustrated because I don’t know what to do.
Continue reading ‘i’m angry. the time for mourning and weeping is past.’