Riley and I have been in Arizona all week visiting my sister and her kiddos and we've been thoroughly enjoying some much-needed time off - including a lot of time off the Internet, so I apologize for my delay in posting, responding to emails and checking Facebook.
This week, I've also been finishing up a book called "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns (World Vision President). It's a must-read for everyone. It has opened my eyes and my heart to so many urgent tragedies happening right now across the world.
And while this isn't the usual vacation-like post, I wanted to share with you this excerpt from the book which I can't stop thinking about. I promise that my next post will include funny pictures and Riley-isms from the trip, but today I wanted to share something much more important.
Today, I've calculated that while I enjoy my 9-day vacation with my sister, nephews and daughter, 238,500 children around the world will die. Please don't stop reading because this is depressing or seems overwhelming. Whether or not you close this blog post before reading the rest, this will still be a fact.
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." -- Flannery O'Connor
Chapter Nine: One Hundred Crashing Jetliners
...I want you to imagine for a moment that you woke up it this morning to the following headline: "One Hundred Jetliners Crash, Killing 26,500." Think of the pandemonium this would create across the world as heads of state, parliaments, and congresses convened to grapple with the nature and causes of this tragedy. Think about the avalanche of media coverage that it would ignite around the globe as reporters shared the shocking news and tried to communicate its implications for the world. Air travel would no doubt grind to a halt as governments shut down the airlines and panicked air travelers canceled their trips. The National Transportation Safety Board and perhaps the FBI, CIA, and local law enforcement agencies and their international equivalents would mobilize investigations and dedicate whatever manpower was required to understand what happened and to prevent it from happening again.
Now imagine that the very next day, one hundred more planes crashed- and one hundred more the next, and the next, and the next. It is unimaginable that something this terrible could happen.
But it did- and it does.
It happened today, and it happened yesterday. It will happen again tomorrow. But there was no media coverage. No heads of state, parliaments, or congresses stopped what they were doing to address the crisis, and no investigations were launched. Yet more than 26,500 children died yesterday of preventable causes related to their poverty, and it will happen again today and tomorrow and the day after that. Almost 10 million children will be dead in the course of a year. So why does the crash of a single plane dominate the front pages of newspapers across the world while the equivalent of one hundred planes filled with children crashing daily never reaches our ears? And even though we now have the awareness, the access, and the ability to stop it, why have we chosen not to? Perhaps one reason is that these kids who are dying are not our kids; they're somebody else's.
We *can* do something about it. We have to.
"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."
"Well, why don't you ask Him?"
"Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question."