It’s pouring outside. The heavy rain is going to last up until tomorrow, and I can’t stop thinking that maybe this is God’s way of telling us he’s weeping.
The heaviness sits inside of my heart too; Syrian babies are dying, being gassed then sprayed with water, people choking, their lungs collapsing like a deflated balloon inside of them.
And here I am. Sitting in my reporting class watching my video reporter package on a maple syrup festival.
I feel ill.
I’ve had to stop myself multiple times today from standing up and screaming at my professor, “What is the point of all of this? What is the point of learning journalism when we’re not even telling stories that matter?”
Why does anyone care about a freaking maple syrup festival when there are bodies on the floor in Syria?
Last night I was shadowing a TV host at a station for a school assignment. I stood at the back, in the dark, my notebook clutched tight between my fingers. I watched as the busyness of the station unfolded before me. I stood half amused, mostly surprised that I actually understood the majority of what was happening around me, and I couldn’t help but think, “Maybe college really is teaching me something…”
(I feel this way because I’m tired and only have three weeks left of the year.) Anyways, I digress.
A cameraman whispered to me last night, motioning me to come over. I did.
“What are you in school for?” He asked.
“Journalism,” I replied softly. We were whispering because they were going to start filming on the set soon.
He nodded, serious. “Then you need to go to the Middle East.”
“Oh, I would love to someday.”
His eyes were dark, black almost, like a nighttime sky. “You need to,” he replied earnestly. “I’m an immigrant from Egypt. I came here five years ago, and the stories coming from the Middle East are not…. how do you say…” He paused for a moment, then searched something on his phone. He showed me the screen, and it said in a Google search: unbiased.
“You feel like the reporting about what’s happening in the Middle East is not unbiased?” I asked.
“I’m sorry,” I said. I didn’t know what else to say.
“You go there,” he told me. “You tell the truth.”
I suddenly felt overwhelmingly helpless, the kind of helpless that sinks deep into the pit of your stomach and slowly turns to a burning rage. Because who am I? A young Canadian journalism student that writes reporter packages on maple syrup festivals? I sit in my class, weary with myself and the world around me. Too often I care more about my school finals, and paying for next year’s tuition, and that parking ticket I just acquired, than the news headlines that make me feel heavy and full.
Syria feels far away, gas attacks seem impossible, twin babies dying in their father’s arms is too much for my brain to comprehend. Because I am here, safe and warm and will never have chemicals spray down on my skin.
The rain’s falling harder now.
I might join in with God’s weeping soon.
Preemptive Love Coalition // Even though it feels like we can’t do anything, I am trying to remember that there are steps we can take. Preemptive Love Coalition is doing a lot of incredible and immediate work over in Syria — and what I don’t want to forget is that God is so much larger than all of this. Thank God we love a God who is larger than this.