|Photo courtesy BBC World|
Most people have still never heard of the Rohingya peoples, but for those of us who have been in refugee ministry for a while, we have heard of their plight for years. I still remember the shock and joy of discovering an entire, large apartment complex totally filled with Rohingya refugees in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I don't know them well, but whenever I hear an update about their plight, my spirit groans.
I'm not going to tell their story here but to say that they are the ultimate people without a country. They are South Asians who have spent the last few generations in Burma thanks to the post-abolition policies of Great Britain who semi-forcibly reshuffled the peoples of the world through their ghastly system of indentured servitude (which alone is enough for the entire world to call the UK to step up and solve the Rohingya problem that their greed is ultimately responsible for creating).
But I digress.
Yesterday, I mused about Grey's Anatomy (which is playing in the background as I read through the morning news and blogs) and how TV series' writers with a vision only as big as the world seem to have great difficulty in writing about changing the world. It's far easier to write about a great character getting killed off in a car accident than to imagine them actually realizing their potential to make history. In trying to inspire our newly arrived set of summer interns, referenced this and hoped to convince them that God isn't like this at all.
Perhaps it is the logical outcome of my evangelical generation's upbringing that we either give in to the numbing influences of the prevailing culture or finally throw off the restraints of small-mindedness -- to rebel against the drop-in-the-bucket kind of thinking and utterly give oneself to actually changing the world. Those early days of Piper and the Passion Conference Posse must finally take on flesh and dwell as uncomfortably as the Hulk in a china closet in this basically status quo world of trendy protests, je suis whateverisms, and awareness campaigns that never do anything.
So for me. What I do now when I hear about the Rohingyas is I start to ask myself, "What is the plan to actually solve this problem? Why can't I be the one who makes it?" Because I'm sick of assuming that I can only do my part! If I am content to only do my part, transformation won't come because by now I realized that the vast majority of people will never do their part! Some won't because they cannot. Others won't because they simply don't care. At 37, I know that I must do the part of thousands if things are going to change. And I know that while I came to the Lord's table empty handed at first, I've been at the table so many times for so long that I can only blaspheme Him by the suggestion that my hands are still empty.
I can change the world.
Indeed, the one who has written in his book all the days of my life before even one of them came to pass intends that it should be.
So, Amen! May it be!