How’s your bubble today?
Isn’t it lovely and shiny in here, brightly coloured and comfortable.
Marvellous to float like this with all the things we hold dear bundled within the orb of our existence. Wonderful to navigate this bubble beyond the prickly outside where some have no such skin of protection.
Such a lovely bubble – see I’ll show you – I’ll shine a bit of its rainbow light on your face. Not too much now, or you might want it for yourself.
I’ll just sit on a cushion, stick my fingers in my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, take a nap and wake up when all the nastiness out there is over.
Life in a bubble sure is swell.
Wait… do people really live like this?
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through the horrific genocide being played out on our television screens, news feeds, newspapers and whatever other way we gather information – it’s that “yes!” people really do live like this.
Bubble people are happy to ignore the greater reality and they do it by focusing only on what is in their immediate sphere of existence.
It’s true that there’s a tricky balance between awareness and giving oneself PTSD. The images coming out of Iraq are the stuff of nightmares.
But I am reminded of that oft-quoted Edmund Burke line, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Evil breaks open his best vintage and invites his mates over when we float about in safe little bubbles of bed socks, slow-cooked meals and wood heaters.
I get the feeling that sometimes we hide behind warm, cosy places in the Bible such as Philippians 4:8, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
And we should. It does no good to wallow in “what’s this world coming to” thinking. But that’s certainly not to say we should sit on our hands.
James 1:27 demonstrates an equilibrium.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
DO extend a hand. DON’T let the horror set up camp in your heart.
Jesus wouldn’t have changed the conversation to the footy or weather when someone mentioned beheadings of innocent people. He wouldn’t have shut his mind to atrocities happening in faraway places. Jesus didn’t walk by a person in need.
Sorry to burst your bubble (you knew that line was coming!), but comfort is the enemy of progress.
Bubbles are fragile by definition and your cosy place was never guaranteed. Ask the family whose home went up in flames. Ask the parents whose child died before he reached his fourth birthday. Ask anyone who has faced unexpected hardship.
Yet, beautiful things happen when we are forced from our bubble zone.
Want to know what YOU can do about the genocide in Iraq? The Bible Society has put together a practical suggestion:
5 Things You Can Do To Help Iraq’s Persecuted Christians.
First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday August 25, 2014.