A little while back, I mused my frustrations in this blogpost about the fashion of movements these days.
I rambled on about the ultra distracted, rarely committed, highly energized generation we seem to have become. Our obsession with trends, revolution, and being a part of something “bigger than ourselves” with buzzwords like “countercultural” is a thin veneer. Sometimes, the “make a difference” slogans and painted posters in picket lines advertise self-promotion instead of a cause. We are deathly afraid our lives won’t matter, so we join the loudest crowd, learn their clever chants, and march in their lines, hoping our existence will amount to something.
It scares me to think about what will happen when the fad passes… when it is less trendy to identify with the broken and hurting in our world…
When we realize the $80 shoes aren’t that cute and we’ll never meet those barefoot kids. When we realize how awkward it is to wear a shirt that has the words “sex” and “trafficking” in bold letters.
When we realize the chants we are shouting actually require us to buy less, have less, and give more.
What happens then?
I’m not always this cynical, but I want to ask these questions of myself and our generation because I am concerned. I’m not worried. I believe the Creator of the universe has a plan to restore all of creation and that plan cannot fail.
I am concerned because we are given a very clear, very serious command to respond (not just with angry outbursts and clever marketing) in a very human way to the needs we see in this world (Isaiah 58).
I hope we can understand that at the end of the day, after all the cause-claiming blogs have been written and all the cause-supporting merchandise has been sent, that caring for the broken, the hurting, and the needy in this world is first and foremost a human responsibility. We can give up on t-shirts and recycled bags or move on to the next fad, but let us not lose sight of what is most important…
If the roots of our motivation reach deeper than trends to the rich soil of God’s heart, we will see that responding to the needs of the broken is not a cause…
it’s a lifestyle.
Just so you know I can be optimistic, too, here are some links that I think encourage the right kind of movement:
Love in Stereo
Dalit Freedom Network
Gospel for Asia
International Justice Mission
Strategic World Impact