As the country of my citizenship celebrates Independence this week, I'll be honest with you, this year it was mentally tough to celebrate. Of course, I'm a proud U.S. citizen, despite disagreements many have of current politics, we as a people are able to still know freedom. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"- this is our declaration. But as our family was out in the water yesterday, I couldn't release my thoughts from our other 'home country,' Nicaragua. A country that currently is not experiencing freedom of basic human rights. A people who live in fear and repression. A country experiencing an escalated downward spiral of the result of freedoms being taken away. The freedom to freely walk their streets, the freedom to declare justice or the desire for peace, the freedom to dream. Those rights have been striped away from the beautiful people of Nicaragua.
And so I wrestle with my freedoms this year as I know millions cannot and will not experience the same privilege. Our hearts and minds are on Nicaragua, but all over the world we recognize the basic rights we take for granted some will literally never know. So in the midst of gratitude of what we are able to call 'land of the free' there is a deep sense of agony, of longing for not only the country we love, Nicaragua, but for all around the world people to have these same rights attributed to them.
Its this division of heart that is created from scrolling through my feeds to see families in matching red, white and blue and the next photo is of those desperately marching with white and blue. You see in the last months, I've become very AWARE of the harsh contrast of my social media feeds. I have the power in my swipe to see the highest joys and truly the lowest and darkest lows. How does my brain even begin to process that in the 'quick' social media glance. I guess the question would be, are we really able to process it and then how do we deal with the helplessness we feel after our brain is bombarded with what our eyes just saw.
At any given moment, I can open up my social media and in one glance see something like someone remodeling their beautiful 2,000 square foot beach home and the very next post I can see the graphic image of a dead body laying on the streets of Nicaragua. What do I do with that information? Do I keep swiping, scrolling and what is my conscious doing about what I just saw? Mostly these days I find myself crying in public places from the live footage that comes through my feed daily, praying through my tears, but my brain is left trying to catch up.
For me what I think is the hardest is the disconnect between what I see and what I can do. I want to fix. I want to mend. I want to help. I want to save. Watching and not doing makes me ill. The heart has a difficult time processing what my hands cannot seem to do. So much is out of our hands and out of our control.
We live in an information overload era. Where does that leave us? I wish I knew, I wish I had all the answers. I don't want to be naive, I want to be aware, but the cost of being aware and doing nothing leaves us with the most empty, helpless feelings.
Mostly, the pull of my heart strings in the recent weeks and months make me long for my eternal, Heavenly home and makes me all the more aware that neither country is my forever 'home.' But as long as I have breath and find myself on this side of Heaven, wherever that may be geographically, may I live with the mentality that this is temporary but may I also know how to ACT and not just see and feel.
"But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator, our Lord Jesus the Anointed.." Philippians 3:20, the Voice.