Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
This morning I received information that friends in Haiti are receiving torrential rains again. A student’s bed and clothes were soaked and roads were difficult to pass. Dr. William is on his way with a medical team to the south arm of Haiti that was decimated by Hurricane Matthew. Incidents of starvation and cholera and homelessness are rampant.
And I’m sitting at a Starbucks in Florida amidst opulent wealth. My $5 coffee and my comfortable life gives me discomfort this morning.
I too suffer from compassion fatigue. Whether it is because of the constant news cycle, we hear and live pain more. So we protect ourselves by saying it’s too much, there’s pain in my world too, they probably will waste the money anyway – insert your favorite excuse here.
Last night I went for a walk on a beach and had a late dinner. Sitting on a bench outside the restaurant was a teenager who asked if I could spare some money. I didn’t understand what he was asking at first and then it hit me, he was hungry.
I can’t stand hunger. If you want me to open my wallet and empty it, just tell me you’re hungry. I’ve never been truly hungry my whole life and hunger hurts me at my core. Hunger is systemic and symptomatic – a couple dollars doesn’t solve his life situation and he may be hungry again tomorrow. So it makes it logical to look the other way.
But this Matthew verse haunts me this morning. How do we read this scripture verse? How does someone hungry or wet or sick read this verse? I pray for rest for the weary. Rest for the burdened. And restlessness for the rest of us.