To News or Not to News?
Each day as I open the computer, look at my emails and peruse the latest news I never know what to expect; in any case, on any day, certainly the news will not be good. The days blend into one other with ongoing reports of violence, retaliation, political upheaval, attacks on innocent people and general unrest. In times such as these apathy or disillusionment are constant enticements. I have determined not to succumb to these insidious temptations. Remaining steadfast in light of renewed rockets and retaliations, leaders spewing hatred, and polarized rhetoric I sometimes wonder if its better not to know.
I have friends who never, absolutely never, watch, read, or listen to news. The attitude is; if there’s something they need to know, the news will reach them. I have other friends who obsessively, hour by hour, read, listen, and watch news reports. Somewhere between these two extremes is a way to stay informed and remain sane. I’m trying to find the middle way and often find myself quite alone. My friends who ignore the news think I’m radical because I know what’s happening and those friends who are obsessive about “being informed” think I have my head in the sand. Because I’m Q (quest and question), not knowing is not an option, neither is overloading my limited capacity with endless repetitive reports.
Apathy and disillusionment can only be overcome by engagement. In the complexity of the conflict, with continually divergent narratives of even the simplest events, I seek the place of prayer for all I see, and more so for what I do not see and cannot know. For me, being informed becomes directions of prayer and repeatedly casts me on the mercy of my all-knowing Father. Again and again I come up against the reality of how little I truly know and how limited my perception and my perspectives actually are. In the short term, I struggle to live in an insecure, unstable situation where my expectation is that I won’t know what’s coming next. I’m learning to expect the unexpected and with it the ache that uncertainty engenders.
Engagement for me means raising my voice on this blog in hope that many will hear “another voice” coming from Israel/Palestine. It also means raising my voice in prayer and supplication for the Prince of Peace to come into the lives of all the peoples of this region, Jew and Arab alike. I’ve learned that even when I’m inundated with feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability, I can hold tightly to the knowledge that “he has the whole world in his hands,” and that includes Israel/Palestine. Being a positive presence, a pursuer of peace and a person of prayer in my small world has to be enough whether or not I ever see results.
To answer the question, “to news or not to news?” the answer is yes to the Good News and no to head in the sand mentality. Thankfully, there is news other than what we are subjected to by the ubiquitous media reports. The “good news” is that God has himself come to dwell among us and he walks with us through all circumstances and seasons.