The world can be a very dark and unwelcoming place and at certain points in history it seems humanity enters a place of darkness that is very difficult to overcome. Even if the darkness doesn’t win permanently it certainly manages to leave behind a large number of casualties (world wars for example).
In my own life I have realized what I would call a fairly consistent calling in the direction of learning about injustice and then trying to do something to bring a little light into dark places. I have read about various kinds of injustice and human rights issues, worked with those who have been hurt by injustice, and spent time learning about some of the darkest moments in recent history. Some of the most significant places I have visited over the years include the killing fields and notorious S21 prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and Buchenwald concentration camp in Weimar, Germany. I have also visited holocaust museums in Berlin, Jerusalem, and Washington D.C.
Not only have I learned about the evil people are capable of in the past I have seen what we are currently willing and able to do to each other in the present. My work as a victim advocate involved various responsibilities including being on call to go to a hospital to meet with a recent victim of rape or sexual assault. Those calls would usually last at least three hours minimum as a woman or child went through a rape kit exam and was given various resources as it applied to them (I personally never met with a male victim during one of these calls but am fully aware that men are victimized as well). I also attended many court appointments with victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse as well as other types of crime doing what I could to be a support and resource for them.
During some of my short term trips overseas I spent time with a human rights group learning about the severe abuses people are facing in Palestine and Jerusalem. I also spent a short amount of during the summer teaching English to Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon.
I mention all these things simply to show that the pain and suffering people inflict on each other is something I do my best to stay aware of and do something about even if only involves bearing witness to the past. Sometimes it involved sitting with or helping someone in their present unjust situation. Of course there are so many other difficult problems and pain people face like disease, natural disasters or just the heartbreak that comes from things like accidents, broken families or discrimination.
I am laying this out to provide some context for the fact that despite knowing the depth of mankind’s ability to commit evil I am also aware that there are good and beautiful things in this world as well. And I maintain hope that evils like torture, ethnic cleansing, and genocide are not going to always be with us. I believe this because of my faith in Jesus and His life, death and resurrection.
That being said however it does cross my mind that maybe its all just a pollyanna dream to want to always come around to hoping and believing that evil, pain and suffering will someday end. Even though I think it will that doesn’t seem like its going to do any good for those who have suffered and died over so many centuries. I mean people still had to live through it so what does making anything right really matter unless that involves a memory wipe?
There is more I could get into here but I will do that at a later time. (It will likely be an entire post on my various arguments with God over the years). So I will simply end with this. Do you have hope? Do you believe something better is coming that will make all the wrongs that have happened to billions of people over the course of history right somehow? And if you are thinking yes then why and what do you think that will look like?