Have you ever heard the phrase, “Drinking from a firehose?” On the off chance you haven’t, it means to be overwhelmed with information—to be inundated with an uncapped, unfiltered amount of information.
I’ve been drinking from a firehose these past few weeks. I think many of us have been. And I’m not sure that it’s accomplishing anything other than fascinated disgust and outrage, not only with the war in Israel and Gaza but the battle online surrounding Israel. These past few weeks are a sobering reminder of how people are capable of treating one another.
I, for one, have guzzled far too much of the horrific news, causing me to feel as though I can’t catch my breath between each gulp.
My heart breaks with each guzzle from the firehose:
For the mothers who no longer hold a baby in their arms, either because they’re dead or held hostage. For the woman who has lost over ten family members at once. Or for the father who celebrated when he found his little girl had died instead of being taken hostage. And for the numerous other sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends who will never hold their loved ones again.
We were never meant to hold this much pain.
While I am thankful to know what is happening in the Middle East and worldwide, the news comes so fast and loud that my brain and heart can’t comprehend it.
I feel this truth acutely.
I sense deep in my bones this ache—or no, throb—yes, throbbing, stabbing, gnawing reality that I can do nothing of consequence for these suffering people. But the firehose keeps spewing, so I drink and sink deeper into the ocean of helplessness.
I finally had to stay off social media for a while. Even though I struggle with feelings of guilt, as if every ghastly act is not seen or validated because I’m not witnessing it.
But there’s a difference between staying informed and being drowned by a firehose.
Do you know what I thought of today as the firehose spewed? I thought of Jesus.
I imagined how He once walked the same streets being bombed and splattered with blood today. Even when Jesus came to the Earth, there were people worldwide. No, not as many as today—but there were people everywhere. And He went to one place. With one goal. And one solid purpose. He was not firehosed with every situation on Earth, deciding to solve each one. Even though he could’ve—and ultimately did with his death and ressurection—instead, he was explicit when He stated, “I must be about my Father’s business.”
Many have postulated how many miles Jesus walked during his ministry. One opinion I read guessed around 3,000 miles and approximately 21,000 throughout His life. Of course, we cannot know the exact numbers, but He walked a lot. And rather than spending those miles walking the span of the entire Earth, He paced back and forth over the same bit of dirt, time and time again. He chose to stay within the parameters that the Father gave him. He had a people, a message, and a plan.
Proclaiming good news and setting captives free
We could take a note from Jesus today. No, he didn’t have social media and news at the speed of light, but I know His focus and purpose wouldn’t have changed even if He did.
He would still be about His Father’s business.
…He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” Luke 4:17-19
We still hold the power to proclaim the good news which sets the captives free and opens the eyes of the blind in a world that is just as broken today as it was when Jesus was here. We must remember amidst all of the chaos and pain in our world to stay the course and be about our Father’s business. Doing what we can, where we can with what we’ve been given.
Drawing from the well rather than the firehose
Yes, the world is bleak and we weep and mourn for the atrocites being done in real time in front of our eyes. And for those of us who are naturally more sensitive, it can be especially difficult. This is good and right as we should weep with those who weep.
There’s nothing wrong with being aware of the state of the world and knowing another’s pain. In fact, Jesus encouraged his disciples to be watchful and aware through a lesson on the ripeness of a fig tree. We do need to know where the world is and where it is going, but, friend, I caution sititng at the firehose to find out.
Knowing everything about a situation changes nothing except our peace of mind.
Perhaps we can use the abundance of information at our fingertips to help where we are able. We can always give to places we trust, reach out to organizations locally who help refugees, and most importantly, we are called always to pray. Because the truth remains that we no longer serve a humble servant, but a risen King. His plan has always been to return, and it would appear that those days are drawing nearer every day. So, rather than drinking routinely from the firehose, let’s draw deeply from the well of God’s truth and settle our hearts there, using it for good right where we are.
As always, friend, thank you for stopping by,