A few days ago, I was talking to someone about ways to help vulnerable children, and I suggested she look into becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA. This was my on-ramp to foster care, and it is a wonderful program with a significant impact. She said she had looked into it, but was hesitant to get involved because she was afraid it would break her heart.
Well, yeah. The stories will break your heart.
Shouldn’t we want them to?
It seems to me that we have two options when faced with suffering in this world: we can choose to ignore it, or we can choose to enter into it.
Ignoring it is definitely easier. It’s less painful for us and certainly requires less sacrifice. And whether we intentionally push those uncomfortable feelings aside, or whether we simply let ourselves be distracted by other things, the effect is the same.
But the stories don’t become any less heartbreaking just because we pretend they don’t exist.
The alternative is to enter into suffering. This is the more awkward path, more uncomfortable, far more painful. It will require a lot more out of us and our families.
This is the choice than Christ modeled for us. He saw our suffering, and it moved Him to compassion and to action.
So, then, this path, where we choose the hard things and walk with the people who are caught up in the midst of them, this is the choice we have to make if we want to be more like Christ. Instead of running away from those who are suffering, we run toward them – not because we enjoy having our hearts broken, but because we want to be where He is.
Break our hearts, God, for the things that break yours.