We’ve all seen those videos pop up in our feed. The ones that draw you in with a cute puppy, and then turn around and show you how it looked when it was first discovered – matted, bleeding, oozing, and terrified. The ones that tell you a cute story about a kid who got to meet their favorite hero – only to die a week later from cancer. Or the ones that show a car crash that could have been prevented if only that teenager hadn’t been texting behind the wheel.
You know the ones I’m talking about.
These videos are specifically created to induce the most tears as fast as possible. They want you to get the waterworks going in less than two minutes. They tempt you in with cuteness and then break your heart – like a cheap vase in a china shop that has a bull problem.
The ones I described are only first-world problems. It gets worse the deeper you go. If you look further than your backyard, you’re sure to find the same type of content, revealing more serious issues like war, hunger, environmental destruction, poverty of the lowest kind, human trafficking, and slavery – which all still exist in abundance in the world today.
If you’re like me, and you catch it in time, you can click or swipe away before you get sucked in. If not, you’re sure to find yourself reaching for the tissue box faster than you can say “Please, no!” It’s very nearly impossible not to feel something when looking at those sad faces.
What are we to do when we find ourselves trapped in this content?
First off, don’t get depressed. I know, it’s easier said than done. However, these things will likely always exist in our world. It’s a fact of life. Sin is pervasive and inescapable this side of glory, and it will never be fully done away with until Jesus Himself returns. Sinful depravity, though the same as always, still has a way of taking the righteous by surprise. Don’t let it.
Second, take a moment to pray…and then, third, if you can’t do anything about it personally, give it to God and let it go. The Lord has given all of us certain missions in this world. If you try to get too far outside of your own zone, no matter how deeply you feel about it, you’ll burn out faster than a double-ended candlestick.
For those of us who have the middle name “superhero” (mine is Marie, but it might as well be), it can be especially difficult to let go of all the tragic things that happen in this world. Doing something about that righteous anger in our hearts is what makes us heroes. However, if we let every one of these stories knock us on our backs – and this has happened to me many times – we won’t have the strength to do what God has actually called us to.
As much as we’ve been given spiritual gifts as awesome as superpowers, we’ve also been given a specific set of ministry passions – high-intensity interests in certain fields that could become service ministries (check out the Network class curriculum for more information on this). God didn’t arbitrarily decide to let us feel more upset about this specific problem than others. He gave us a piece of His heart for those particularly in need – the lost, hungry, young, victims, the weak – and He uses us to show that piece of His heart and His love to the world.
So if you find that something does hit you really hard, and you can’t bring yourself to let it go, I encourage you to pursue a different checklist – one with only two steps: Pray, and then HEED THE CALL.
We’re all God’s little superheroes, and sometimes, even in those dumb videos designed to make us cry, we come across something He has made us uniquely to do! Most of the time, we need to approach those issues that tug at our hearts the most with caution by first praying about it, then exploring it rationally, emotionally, and spiritually. You must consider whether God is calling you to something greater.
And if He is? GO AFTER IT! Find your Gotham City and be Batman – because when given the chance, shouldn’t we always be Batman?