Overwhelmed

Most days, I keep a certain distance from the news – I read throughout the day via headlines on Twitter and a few apps I’ve downloaded. I like being informed and strive to read a variety of sources. But, sometimes it feels overwhelming. Like we are so far from any sort of reconciliation. Like our world is spiraling.

Last night felt like that. As I read more and more about what is happening in Ferguson, I wondered what on earth I could do. I’d like to think that, if I lived in that suburb, I would be supporting the protestors. I would be doing something. The reality is I would probably be safe at home, horrified at the news down the street, but with the same feeling of helplessness. And of safety because of my status as a white woman.

This morning felt worse. And then I read Addie Zierman’s post, A Good Day to Come Awake – on choosing not to let fear isolate us from others; on choosing to believe the truth. I decided that, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I needed to be thankful for ways I can make changes to this system in my own small way.

I’ve been trying to expand my reading on racial reconciliation in the church. We go to a pretty white church and I think it’s important to be aware of these issues. Christianity Today posted Ten Books on Racial Reconciliation. Of those, I’ve read two – Disunity in Christ and The Next Evangelicalism, both well worth the time. I’ll be adding to my reading list based on these resources.

Working on a more multicultural collection
Working on a more multicultural collection

It’s a small thing, but we’ve been trying to expand the color of Bea’s dolls. She’s inherited some of my old ones (all white) so when we buy new ones, we look for dolls of different colors. For her birthday, she received Nahji from India and Miss Elaina from Daniel Tiger. In this little way, I hope to instill empathy and a normalcy in others who look different.

I know that in the midst of this chaos, these are minute things to do – reading and playing. But, for now, it’s what I can do in this moment. These small ways of being aware, of being intentional, and of trying to raise a generation with understanding, empathy, tolerance, and love for neighbor.

How do you process the news? Any suggestions for ways to fill hopeless news with reconciliation?