An uncomfortable conversation
Written by Jacob Mathew on 24-08-2020
Son: Daddy, I want to ask you something?
Dad: Sure, son, feel free to ask me anything.
Son: If you don’t mind, can you help me make a sense of what I am reading about. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Dad: Ok, son. What have you been reading?
Son: Ya, Dad. I have been reading the newspaper and also checking out some of the news articles online. But I cannot make sense of any of it.
Dad: Oh ok. Glad to see you are reading the newspaper. Go ahead. I am curious to hear the news.
Son: Actually, it’s not just one day’s news but I have been reading for several days and my mind is not able to grapple any of it. For example, last week there was this big blast in Lebanon where thousands of people died because of a supposed ignition of 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate sitting at a port for more than six years.
Dad: Oh ok. What I suspect…
Son: Wait wait, Dad. Let me finish. Lebanon, George Floyd, Plane crash, Corona are the real big news. But what is actually bothering me are some of the small news. Some of it are quite small and they don’t get reported on Prime Time.
Dad: Really. What kind of news?
Son: Some of these are quite embarrassing and I am hoping you won’t be embarrassed me talking about it . I was reading this article about how in some parts of the world, young girls are sold off for the sex trade. Then I read another news article, how people in power stay in power by paying some people enough money to keep everyone happy. Then I was reading about how people are not given jobs because they belong to a different religion or colour or gender or community or nationality. Or even if they are given jobs, they are treated poorly and never allowed to be promoted because of who they are. I was quite shocked to hear about how one dad shot dead his wife and family because he wanted more money and land. The crazy man fortunately did not kill his 10 year old son. Another news which was really hushed up is how people brutally abuse or kill someone because they belong to different religion or because they have a different food diet. Really, Dad!
I could go on and on, Dad. But why do people live like this.
Dad: Wow! Son! That is quite some news you have downloaded here. Can I be honest with you?
Son: Ya. Dad. All this doesn’t make sense to me.
Dad: I wish all of us adults started thinking like you and started feeling your exact emotion. This world would be a better place. I can’t really promise you a good answer because I don’t think I have really smart answers to your heart-wrenching questions. But as I see it, and what I want you as my son to never forget regardless of how old you grow and what you become.
Firstly, we are not living in a perfect world. God created a beautiful world but gave the freedom of choice to us to choose right and wrong. Unfortunately, we chose to live messy lives. The beautiful world lost its beauty as we chose to follow our mess instead of God’s beautiful plan. Everything you see around you, including yourself is far from perfect. If we try to set the world right like the Avengers or the Justice League, we imagine we are really cool, but we are not really addressing the real deeper issue.
Secondly, start making right personal choices. I think all that you are reading and the anger you feel inside you should make you stand up and desire to live a life that is different and unique. The best antidote to a messy unjust system, are beautiful true role models. You start living it. And let the world follow you in doing right.
Thirdly, make these issues a talking point among your friends. I really appreciate the fact that you were not embarrassed to talk about such matters to your dad. Talk with the same passion with your best friends. Discuss about it. Figure out what’s going wrong. Listen to your friends. Maybe this uncomfortable conversation could springboard acts of justice around you.
Fourthly, never be arrogant. The battle for justice, truth and purity is not fought with wild arrogance but with humble boldness. Boldness to stand for values of integrity, character, justice and equality. In humility, because you need God’s help to bring a difference in your world. Take time to pray and feel God’s heart. God’s heart that cries out : ‘…I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.’ (The Bible)
Son, remember this, at the end of the day, we will never get a perfect fair world. Even God experienced injustice.
Son: What! How is that possible?
Dad: Yes, son. It wasn’t fair that God’s Son, Jesus who did no wrong had to die on the cross 2000 years ago. It’s not fair that he was beaten up and battered. It was a totally unjust system that allowed an innocent Jesus to be punished for no fault of his. It was unjust but it was God’s love that kept Jesus on the cross. He chose to die so that we can live. So that we can live with hope and new purpose.
When we are faced with injustice, or shattered by our painful systems, never forget Jesus.
Jesus chose to follow His Father’s will through the pathway of injustice, pain and suffering. God may call you and me to follow Him here on earth through the dark tunnel of injustice. But don’t give up. Because there is the radiance of His light on the other side of the long tunnel. In fact, Jesus is with us when we are going through the darkest season.
Son: Wow! Dad! I never looked at it that way. But dad, I was reading about another news report.
Dad: Well…son. Let’s talk about it tomorrow!