Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What if I cared as much about ISIS beheadings as I do about the fact that there are two Bachelorettes?

Last night I watched the finale of The Bachelor, which is hilarious since I didn’t watch a single episode of the regular season. But whatever. My friends are in town, so it was a girls’ night thing.

Let’s just skip all the blah-blah-blah and get to the outrage I felt when Chris Harrison announced that there will be two Bachelorettes next season. Having sat on the bench for the entire season, I watched “After the Final Rose” as a mostly disengaged viewer until THAT MOMENT. The one when Chris said, “We just couldn’t decide which girl to pick, so we thought it would be so much fun to pit two women against each other and allow men to decide which one has the most potential to be a wife,” or something along those lines. 

 I thought it was sexist and demeaning. But don’t just take my word for it. Take my Twitter.

In the middle of this Twitter rampage, my husband asked me why I felt the need to hop on a hashtag and engage with complete strangers about a topic that doesn’t really affect me in any way, shape, or form. What a ridiculous question, right? I have a voice! I need to be heard! But what it really boiled down to is that I felt like the issue mattered. I had visions of rallying a bunch of women together to boycott the show, or convincing the Bachelorette(s) to drop out. I felt almost impassioned. And then I thought, “Why doesn’t the fact that ISIS is beheading my Christian brothers and sisters stir up this same level of emotion in me?”

So I paused. And I stilled. And I thought about writing this blog, and I thought about all the words I would use to demonstrate how deeply this realization had impacted me. But then I got distracted by another thought about that very same post going viral because of the timeliness of the topic, which would lead to an invitation for me to be on a talk show to discuss everything further, of course.

I hate that all of that’s true, but it is. I hate that an announcement about a reality television show moved me to step on my tweet-box and preach, while an article sent to me by my husband titled What ISIS Really Wants had been in my inbox since February 18, and remained unread until last night. I hate that in the middle of the many horrors and moments of crisis that are real and active around the globe, I care about hashtags and the reach of my own voice, even though as a believer in Jesus Christ, I proclaim that to live is Him and to die is gain—that the purpose of my life is to bring Him glory and not myself. I hate that the prospect of having two Bachelorettes made me verbalize the question, “What is this world coming to?” while believers around the world are facing persecution, and famine, and danger, and nakedness, and the sword for the sake of loving and knowing and serving Christ (Romans 8:35).

I want to wake up. Finally reading the aforementioned article was a big step in that direction, but I want to do more. I want to stop caring about things that don’t matter. I want to stop expending my time and energy and thoughts and efforts—all the best of me—to further things that are temporal and bound by this earth. Namely, myself. I can stop comparing and contrasting my Instagram feed and counting my Twitter followers for long enough to care about deeper things, realer things. I know I can.

I’ve been uneducated and uninformed. I haven’t felt like the existence of ISIS affected me personally. It’s felt distant and removed—another horrible series of tragedies in a faraway place that I am helpless to fix. Maybe our generation is immune to understanding the threat of an organization like ISIS because since 9/11, we’ve seen Terror Alerts indicated on our television screens in much the same way as an ozone warning. Orange today. Don’t go outside. Red today. Don’t breathe.

Whatever it is—the root cause of the fact that I was rocked by the “two Bachelorettes” announcement and yet, until recently, unmoved by the growing presence of ISIS—it’s not okay or excusable. I want to be informed about what’s going on in the world not for the sake of being informed, but for the sake of seeing things as they really are. I don’t have to fixate on disaster or fear the end of the world (Proverbs 3:25-26), but I must and I will acknowledge that there are things happening outside my bubble that require that I stay awake. I think I'll have more to say on this one day, and I hope I do. But for now, that's all I've got.

Share this post if you want to. Don’t if you don’t. But do join me in thinking about what matters, and what it really means to be like Jesus in this mixed-up, crazy world—“the very last, and a servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

. . .

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

For further reading, see this blog posted on Happy Sonship.

1 comment

  1. Hey Karley. Just saw read through your blog and saw the share of my blog. Double good :) Thanks. Hugs to you both.


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