I have been going through an inside changing process over the past several years. I was raised to be giving, to be loving, to be forgiving, to see the other side to every story….and I have tried to live that kind of life. Sometimes I haven’t. Many times I haven’t. I have been a taker, a hater, a judger, an unforgiver, an only see my side type of person many, many times. I could beat myself up each time I am this uglier side, or I could give, love, forgive of myself for those times and move on…be better next time. So I keep going.
However, more specifically in the last few years I have dug deeper. Looked past the barriers I placed up before, the bubble I placed my life in. My eyes, heart and soul have been opened to things beyond what I saw before. I saw the hurting, I just didn’t place myself right next to it. I just watched through a window. I was sad, but paralyzed. I didn’t know how to move, so I didn’t. Then….I just did. I sat next to the homeless and listened to their stories. I listened to ex-convicts. To present convicts. I listened to and held the poor, the orphaned. I’m not glorifying myself, moreso, I’m pointing out that it just starts with listening to and loving someone outside of my bubble. I didn’t save them. I just listened. I know most of them won’t ever remember me, but I remember them every day.
Today in the news, it’s yoga pants. See-through yoga pants. People are outraged. People are demanding better pants. The pants are pulled from store shelves. We have a world wide yoga pant shortage now? My heart is aching for further questions though.
Who made these pants? Was it a child? Did that child have parents? Would we pay more for better pants if we knew the workers were treated fairly? Who made the pants in my closet? Who made my shoes? Do we really care more about the see-throughness, then we do about some larger issues at hand? Slave labor…child labor…orphans? My mind goes farther, and I get mad. When I get mad, I research. When I research, it brings me to dark corners of the world. Questions on company policy towards slave labor leads to child labor. Leads to sex trafficking. Leads to homelessness…orphans…immigrant mistreatment in the USA….it goes darker and darker. Then I realized, I can research all I want. I can get pissed. I can also start doing something more. More than “liking” every facebook page about these issues. I can start acting on what these pages tell me. I can demand answers and changes.
We are a culture drowning in a blame game. Politics, big corporation outrage, this church, that church, no church. What if we just stop for a moment and breathe. What breaks our hearts? I am searching mine, because I can’t search everyone elses. Different things break each of our hearts.
International justice mission is a “cause” after my own breaking heart. They expose, help fund change and celebrate victory over many issues of human slavery. And I can do more. I can start asking questions and demanding answers about every item I buy. The whole supply and delivery chain. Yes, it’s a pain. I imagine it’s a bit of a pain on purpouse. It’s easier to bury the answers so that people give up. Who made the packaging of this item? Who made the materials in the packaging? Who collected the materials? How were they collected? That’s just the packaging. However, if even one human being was abused, robbed, forced in labor in making any part of the product…am I ok with that? No.
I’m going to start with me. I know it won’t be easy. I’m going to journal my journey in this. I’ll write later how it goes.
What breaks your heart?