Monday, July 27, 2015

A Perspective Shift

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Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in your own thoughts and problems that you lose perspective?  Well.....I sure have! Sometimes when things don't go the way that we want them to, we can become very self involved.
While in Illinois at  The Shoppes at Grand Prairie, I happened upon a perspective shift. While shopping at a little open air mall I found a Holocaust Memorial entitled:  'Peoria Holocaust Memorial Button Project' . Coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Peoria, this memorial is a lasting educational memorial dedicated to the six million Jews and five million enemies of the state murdered during the Holocaust. That totals 11,000,000 people.....

In this memorial, each person is represented by a button as seen above. The buttons are all different shapes and sizes, just like the people they represent. As I walked into the middle of the memorial surrounded by the representation of 11,000,000 murdered individuals I felt my knees buckle as I began to weep. It was one of those moments that happen when you aren't expecting it. I went from casually shopping, to silently weeping the loss of 11,000,000 individuals that I had never met. These people lived and died before my time, but the tragedy of their loss impacted the world.

You see there are things that you can encounter in life that shift your perspective a bit. This experience arrested me right where I was and caused me to think about an era of evil that could easily be forgotten unless you choose to remember. Sometimes, when injustice doesn't impact you personally, it is easier to pretend it never happened, or simply not let it impact you.

(To tell you the truth, these pictures don't seem to do this memorial justice.
It is definitely a site to experience for yourself.)
Every so often, I find myself remembering this memorial and praying. Praying for my country and its leaders. Praying for our world, and world leaders, and praying for the persecuted church. According to a 2013 Fox News article upwards of 100,000 Christians are killed annually and that number is continually on the rise. In John 15:18 Jesus tells us to remember that "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."
Hebrews 13:3 CEV tells us this: Remember the Lord's people who are in jail and be concerned for them. Don't forget those who are suffering, but imagine you are there with them.
We are to keep the persecuted Christians in the forefront of our minds and always in our prayers. We are all one body and when one part hurts, we all hurt. I am thankful for a Pastor that encourages us to pray for the persecuted Christians often and keeps it before us. I believe we as American Christians can become jaded and hard-hearted easily. We like things easy and complacency is just that.....easy.
It is time we as Christians dig into the Word of God and then do what it says! It is time we pray like never before! It is time that we Christians become more Christ-like than ever before. The world needs us to be who we say we are!

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