Today as I was driving I was thinking about the pain that can come from trying to help others. Its been a trying time in our family and I have found myself at times wanting to tell the Lord, I don't get it, I quit....I keep walking the path before me and I end up seeing things I can unsee, knowing thing I can't unknow, and walk with people down some pretty dark places. I had been thinking why is following God like this, look at those courageous people from the Bible who were persecuted and suffered, read of missionaries who have witnessed or experienced atrocities, talk to anyone who is really devoted to ministry and listen to the cost to them and their families and friends. It seems like following a loving God would be the opposite. Until I realized this.....how can we really seek God and want God and look forward to nothing more than His return when we refuse to look at the world's reality. Following Jesus and serving others requires you to see whats under the bandage. We tend to look at the bandaged world because that is easier for us to look upon. We love things like social media, tv. movies and superficial relationships. Just see enough to know that we all have some wounds from this life, but to make sure it looks as though everyone is still OK, nothing we need to intervene in. For me the distance makes me feel as though my responsibility less. To be honest sometimes I don't want to know because once I do know I know I can't unknow and then I must choose to act or sit back and watch. Truly following the Lord requires and forces us to pull off the bandage, tear it back and look at the wound in all its ugliness, see the scar and truly understand the pain of others. No longer can you just give a 5 minute prayer and move on to your agenda, your day is suddenly absorbed in the pain and the wound. As soon as you soothe the pain of one you notice another and then another and you can't find a way to pretend it doesn't exist anymore. Only then can you truly cry out the God above to return quickly and to pray for his mercy, because until then you have failed to see the result of sin. Sin causes horrible pain, selfishness affects so many generations, abuse endures long past the act and apathy can cause pain to linger like a horrible infection. I have learned if you want to learn how to truly yearn for your Savior, look under the bandages of the world.