Thursday, February 17, 2005

Caring Always Hurts

The truth is if you give a damn you will be hurt. Caring always hurts. I was watching the news last night and they were interviewing Mr. Microsoft. Bill Gates said people should travel more. He said going to Africa and seeing for ourselves would make us more compassionate. I think that is true and maybe he should send us all on a free trip to see the pain in Africa.

My parents were missionaries and they took our family to what was then Rhodesia now the country of Zimbabwe when I was 11 in 1960. We went on a ship from New York to Capetown, South Africa. It was a freighter so there were only 12 passengers. I was the only boy and I had a ball. It took almost a month because we went up the Congo river to unload some UN supplies. The country was at war. It has been in turmoil ever since. Just in the past decade millions have been killed by the constant tribal wars. In Africa one will see the pain of war, AIDS, and poverty everywhere. Mr. Microsoft is right. It is a place of terrible pain, but also of great beauty and progress. Africa is more than its problems.

You do not have to go to Africa to see pain. The streets of America is full of it. Why did Mr. Microsoft not suggest going and walking a street in our capitol and looking into the eyes of a homeless veteran or a lady pushing all her earthly goods around in a cart. Why not a mental hospital where folks are locked away with their pain medicated but their souls left raw to rot? Why not next door where kids are trying hard to be good so their parents will stop fighting and not get a divorce? My fellow sojourners. Pain is everywhere.

To have the ability to help others we need to find healing ourselves. All the compassion in the world does not matter if your soul is too weak to reach out to those around you. You do not have to go to a far off land. Just learn to live a life that reaches out to those around. That tries to sooth the soul next to you. You will need to be strong because Caring Always Hurts.

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