I went down to Ocean Beach last night with Ape because I wanted to introduce him to the California Burrito at Ortiz's (if you haven't had it... sweet moses that carne asada is tender). Walking around below the pier in Ocean Beach where a lot of the homeless folks hang out it reminded me of how comfortable I used to be there and how insulated I've become living in North County. I was thinking about this as I get ready to leave on Monday for Uganda. It's easy to ignore a problem, to not be impacted or affected by it, as long as we are able to compartmentalize it.
If I don't see it it's not really there.
That's a horrible thing to admit, but it's ridiculously true. Every time I go to Uganda I'm floored by the level of need, the need for assistance, the opportunities for impact and ministry. Every time I get back I move on within 5-6 weeks. I really wish that wasn't the case, but it's true.
What I want more than anything is to consistently and intentionally be aware of those in need. In need emotionally, financially, spiritually. I want to press into those uncomfortable places where people are real and raw and I can't isolate myself by living in a bubble. I'm well aware that I can't do everything, but I don't want to live large parts of my life ignoring the things around me that I can impact. Whether I ignore them out of fear, or discouragement, or being uncomfortable, I don't want to just move on from moment to moment, or experience to experience. Because the longer the time gets between these moments, the harder it is to engage with people who really need help and encouragement and God. I don't want to become incompetent at being there for people because it happens so little often. I don't want to become so desensitized that need seems like a freak occurrence that I just need to press through.