Updated: Sep 12
“They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.” ~ Isaiah 44:18
I’ve always wondered how people can be so vastly different from one another. Especially when it comes to caring for one another and ensuring that all have their basic needs met. I have always been overly sensitive (just ask my siblings) and have tried to put myself in others’ shoes. That doesn’t mean I haven’t hurt anyone, it just means that I knew what I was doing. Which... may be worse but anger can cause that at times. What I find interesting is the complete disconnect with humanity. We have so much. So much more than what was acceptable for our parents and in comparison to the entire world but we still refuse to part with our hoarding and spending in order to ensure that others have what they need. Their essentials. Then we judge them by their lifestyle or actions. Those that were given a leg up just assume that things are easy and that anyone can achieve what they’ve achieved even without the helping hand. But they’re wrong.
You do hear rags to riches stories or how every generation may do better than the last. What’s not discussed is off whose back those achievements occurred. My husband’s parents came here from Portugal in the 1970’s. My mother-in-law worked in a factory while my father-in-law was a carpenter. Both worked extra hard in order to get their children to have what they didn’t. My grandparents worked multiple jobs in order to give my mother and her siblings the life they had. My mother worked long hours leaving at 4:30 in the morning so that she could be home when we got back from school.
We take advantage of that hard work to a degree. While we (my generation, myself, my husband, our siblings, etc.) appreciate all their work, we could never really understand unless we were forced to work the same hours or jobs.
There are others who are much less fortunate than we were. Those who were raised by families who came here with nothing and were only able to get by. Those in communities of color, that no matter how hard they try, they are seen as less than by those outside of their communities and aren’t offered the same options or opportunities that we were.
There are those out there now that say that those things don’t exist or that they are exaggerated. I didn’t quite grasp the extent of it for sure. I grew up in a diverse area in the 90’s (which seems to me as a golden age for acceptance. But maybe I’m just glamorizing my own privilege). I didn’t understand this idea of privilege or that people out there (while having the same options) weren’t able to reach out and grasp it. It’s like chasing the cat with the mouse at the end of the pole. They keep racing around but only the person in charge of that pole knows that the cat will never actually catch the mouse.
We’re living in times magnified. It’s as though all of the sins of the past have been placed in front of us. It’s as though we’re being asked to judge ourselves, our neighbors, our ancestors and our country. We’re having to decide to what degree are we going to follow God’s very difficult introspectiveness. Are we going to recognize the extent of what God has asked of us and stand up for our brothers and sisters? Or will we pretend to be blind to responsibilities that we face?
If we have any sort of power or influence, we aren’t to save it for ourselves but rather share it in His Glory and for His purpose.
In Isaiah 44:18, we’re told that some are blind. We’re reminded of that in Luke 23:34 where Jesus says “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." Do we know what we are doing? I think most of us do. Are there some that are blind? I do think so. Our Lord is a gentleman and when He’s not asked to the table, He won’t force it. He will wait patiently for us.
What does that mean for the rest of us? We’re meant to do as the Apostles and not only share God’s word but share in His expectations. Help raise those up that haven’t been offered that opportunity. Stand up for those that aren’t being stood up for. If we have any sort of power or influence, we aren’t to save it for ourselves but rather share it in His Glory and for His purpose.
Our treasures aren’t here. We, of course, want protection for ourselves and our families, but so does everyone else. My life doesn’t matter more than someone else’s - no matter who they are. Your life doesn’t matter more than mine, nor does it matter more than anyone else’s. We must start recognizing this importance in all that we do. Everything has a purpose and everything has a point of no return. What we leave behind can be a legacy of love that transcends generations. Or it can be a distant memory of someone that once was.
About: Sosie Matosian resides in Virginia with her husband, three children and two dogs. She has her degree in Biblical Studies from University of Northwestern with additional emphasis and certificate in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She is passionate about sharing her faith with others and brings a personal perspective to the struggles one might face in their journey walking to and with Christ.