I love living in the technology age. Staying in touch with friends, feeling connected to the world, getting news easily from a variety of sources all fills my “connectivity” strength. At times, the instant access to news can be overwhelming – I have to take a break because the world can seem so heavy. And yet, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Finding out about Michael Brown and Ferguson to elections in Zimbabwe to the attacks on Paris to news of refugees and the crisis in the Middle East allow me to remember that our world is groaning in anticipation of peace.
Right after the attacks on Paris, people began posting a prayer saying yes, but…
Yes, praying for Paris is important… But attacks on Beirut happened two days prior.
Yes, we are concerned for the families… But what about the massacre of Kenyan students?
Yes, we feel connected to Western tragedy… But what about the rest of the world – the world that doesn’t look like us or hold romantic memories?
Yes, terrorism is tragic… But what about the daily tragedy of trafficking and slavery?
My initial reaction to this prayer was How insensitive! Yes, tragedy happens the world over but in this moment, Paris is the most recent. Just as I do believe all lives matter, in this moment in history we must focus on the importance of black lives. Just as I believe one death is as tragic as one hundred, in this moment we remember one hundred and one. As more and more people questioned our response to news, fingers were pointed. It’s not me – it’s the media not giving me information! It’s not me – it’s the fact that my Facebook newsfeed doesn’t highlight other crises. It’s not me…
So I thought, why not make it me? If we need to pray daily for conflict and crisis and tragedy – and we do – then let’s start highlighting these places that are overlooked. Why wait for the media to tell us when to mourn and when to raise awareness?
Advent begins in just a couple weeks. As we prepare for Christmas and wait in anticipation of peace permeating the world; As we wait in anticipation of reconciliation and the end of conflict, I want to stop and remember the places that need prayer, that need highlighting, that need us to remember.
Each day for the season of Advent, I’ll post a prayer or a picture or a reflection to highlight an area of our world that needs remembering. And I need your help! This won’t be powerful unless we raise our voices together. If there’s an area of the world or a conflict or a people group you feel should be represented, please write a prayer or reflection or create a piece of art. I’ll include it in our daily prayers as we wait in anticipation together.
If you’d like to participate, here’s what I need:
1) Pick a country or a conflict or a cause – anything you feel called to pray for.
2) Create a prayer or reflection in any media (writing, painting, photography…) that represents your prayer.
3) Email me your contribution by Monday, November 30: anniehrim @gmail.com and I’ll compile our prayers into a daily Advent post.
Feel free to invite friends, share the button, write on your own blog and link up… Rather than waiting for one tragedy to remind us of all the tragedies we’ve missed, let’s take a moment to remember now.