This morning, as an exercise in compassion, I imagined the crying man in this photograph is my brother. Like my actual brother.
Go ahead. Try it.
Imagine he is your brother and the photograph appeared this morning on the cover of the Dallas Morning News. The dead child is your nephew.
Or, imagine he is your next door neighbor and his dead child played with your live one yesterday.
Or maybe, the dead child is a student in your class. He died yesterday along with 17 others, when the bomb hit your school.
With pain this real, this close, would you not turn your life upside down to respond?
You would. I know you.
You would stop what you are doing and race to be with them. You would cook. You would pray. You would bring clothes. You would set up go fund me accounts. Whatever it took. You would pour your heart of compassion out on this family, this town, this school.
So what that this photograph was taken yesterday 7,100 miles away? Does that change who you are or what your heart is capable of? I don’t think so.
Don’t be discouraged. You are not helpless. He is.
So #LoveAnyway. Help this man like you would help your brother, or your neighbor, or your school. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Look at the picture again.Stare at it.
- Pray for Syria.
- Give to those working for peace, justice, relief.
The best way I know to deal with the heartbreak of this photograph is to take what I have in my hand and give it away.
This is Christmas.