It's a strange thing, no longer living in America. News and life and things happen in your old homeland and you see passing glimpses of it, but never the stories underneath. It's ok, really, this disconnect. I enjoy not having to make some sort of statement or have some sort of response ready when the Supreme Court hears a case or an election is being had or my favourite team loses in a tournament.
We've got some distance now, some persective, and it's nice being a casual observer from afar while we try to dig deep where we're at.
This week, though, I'm seeing a trend, running through Twitter and Facebook (which, yes I know, it's my own fault for following such things). A terrible, grotesque, evil story of humanity is being played out. And we want to see it.
I remember when the story first broke two years ago and it's all you wish would never happen anywhere in the civilized world. Of course, we know it happens all the time, behind closed doors and back alleys and far off lands. As long as it's hidden safely away there, we can go on, pretending things are fine and normal and America is the height of personal liberty and individual freedoms. As long as what's literally right in front of us is on the up and up, a good story of success we can attribute to hard work and clean living and the ten commandments, we go on as if the evil isn't lying underneath, waiting to be exposed.
So this story of an abortionist gone completely unchecked and out of control rips wide a chasm. We gasp and cry and turn off the news because we just can't bear it. We pray and plead, God, make it stop. And we turn inward wondering how women can feel so desperate and men can go so mad. Years and years of vileness is finally met with the hope of justice, and he is arrested.
The story, it was reported then in 2011, and we moved on. Because that's what we do. There's always a new story to cry foul about.
He's on trial now, this man. But according to my Facebook and Twitter feeds, no one knows about it, can hear or read about it. It's a black out, they say. Liberal media. Conspiracy. Pro-choice agenda. And you know what, they're probably right. Because really, who wants to hear or read or see such things?*
Who can bear it?
But Twitter and Facebook and social media sites and networking... it's all made up of people, sharing stories. They're reporting it, because they want you to see. My friends, rightly shocked at the thought of it, are reporting the story. They want you to see it, to read about, to hear it. Over and over again, I'm inundated with the same lurid facts, the same despair, the same deep soul pain. They say, the media isn't reporting it so we will. Which is fine, but I will tell you why I think the media isn't reporting it.
Because we just can't bear it.
If this story came on the news, I would turn it straight off. I can't imagine my child overhearing, even my mother overhearing. I would want to protect them from the evil within, from the men (and women) who perpetrate this violence on babies. They were once babies, too, and who can bear it? And maybe it is a conspiracy, too threatening to the status quo and Roe v. Wade and all that. I believe it, I cannot deny it exists.
I'm struck, though, by those of us who need to share it, who must pass it on from page to page, emails and tweets and links and videos. Why? Why do we hit share and sensationalize this? They say, look at this shame and sin up close. They say it's not reported because we are fine with it, because it's a slippery slope and we've removed God and this is a mirror to us, to what we've allowed to happen. "The bloody altar of human sacrifice", a friend of mine said. He asks me to consider if I'm responsible for it.
This is why we want to see. To expose the world and sinners for what we really are.
I will tell you this: I cannot bear the thought of it, of this happening, under our noses and in our neighbourhoods. I cry out to God to make it stop, but I cannot look at it. I won't. This story, it is being told, and justice will be served. God is seeing to it, has exposed it, He will make it right. I trust that.
And maybe I am a party to this, responsible for this existing in the world. I cannot acquit myself to it. Because I'm a sinner, a daughter of Eve, living imperfectly and selfishly and confusing love and lust and riches and contentment and robbing God of what is His and clinging to my rights, of what I think is mine. I'm a liar and a thief, misusing His gifts and forfeiting His grace. I do it all the time.
A sinner of sinners.
"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst."
Jesus... He did not hold a mirror to my face, saying, "Look what you've done, what you're responsible for."
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
And at the end,
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
I am weary and heavy laden. I will not see it, hear it, read it. I cannot bear it. So instead I go to Him, I cry, "Father, forgive me," and find rest.
*Click link with care. I've not read the entire article, but it's the one I see most frequently referred to and shares graphic testimony.