Hey all. So I usually only come here when I have something to say, and lately I seem to have run out of all words except one: heartbroken. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I have a great job, amazing friends, a church I call home, a space all my own, and wake up to sunshine nearly every day. I have more than my share of blessings, and I am floored with gratitude every morning. But at the same time, the world around me is crumbling.
The Orlando shooting that claimed 50 lives (including the shooter) coupled with the murder of Christina Grimmie – a beautiful young singer and member of my church family – brought close to home this feeling of heartbreak I’ve been struggling to keep at bay since last year. War, poverty, hunger, sex crimes, hate crimes… simply opening the news every morning is enough to bring me to my knees. We are a people driven by greed and hate and we are suffering and dying because of it.
If I choose to shut my eyes to the things happening outside my world, the heartbreak still seeps in. Friends are being brought down by sickness, bullying bosses, inability to find work, loss of friends/family… not to mention struggling with the lies we tell ourselves: I’m not good enough, nobody wants me, I’m too fat/thin/tall/short/ugly/etc.
So what do we do? I spent a long time feeling paralyzed and helpless. But if I believe that I am too small to make any sort of lasting change, that’s no better than the rest of the lies we tell ourselves. So I start with myself, finding what greed and hatred lives in me and eradicating it piece by piece. The injustices of our world aren’t caused by an enemy we fail to understand, but by people just like us. People who were children once, with lively imaginations and hope for something better. People who experience loss and hardship and heartbreak and injustice. If I separate the “enemy” into a far-off “them”, I fail to see that the problem is us. It starts with us. So it starts with me.
Then I pray – oh, do I pray. I cry and I scream and I ask why and why and why again, and He gently reminds me that He hears me, that He is with me, that He is with them just as He is with me (thanks to a dear friend for reminding me of this today), and that He too is heartbroken all the more – it was never meant to be this way. He calls me to be faithful, and I pray to be given all the love to be able to love other people better. And He does. So I love, in every tangible way I can.
I know I am just one person. And by myself, I can’t change the world no matter how hard I try. But I also know that God can. And He will. And if I can live every day of my life helping make that change, it would be an honor. So here I am – heart ready and hands dirty. Who’s with me?
PHOTOGRAPHY| kassia phoy