As we proudly celebrate our National Day, news of brutal terror has been sprouting in quick successions - Bangladesh, Turkey, Iraq, Germany, Afghanistan and the on-going madness in South Sudan.
The birth pangs are growing. Yet, in the almost surreal peace and stability that Singapore enjoys, it is often difficult for ‘peace-lulled’ Singaporeans to identify with the fears and pains of fellow human beings hit by violence motivated by hatred and perhaps a genuine quest for holy war? How are the Christians responding?
I was speaking at two youth services on the topic of stress. What a topic for Singaporeans! Aren’t we known to be a nation of high stress? A people on a tireless quest for excellence and significance, for desiring all we believe we deserve? A Little Red Dot striving for significance and keeping up to the significance we have gained in the world. I asked the young people what other young people their age in other parts of the world might be stressed about? Such as, the restless youths of the Middle East and the child soldiers of Africa? What about young North Korean defectors caught to be brought back to their homeland for torture?
Soon after my message, I received a text from a Partner serving in the front lines of a violence-ridden nation. Just 900 metres from where she lives, demonstrators were dispersed by bombing and deaths filled the streets. Another lock-down for who knows till when. She was due for a mandatory holiday out of country - a member care protocol for all who serve in this stress-stricken country. But she’s under lock-down and if she was to travel to the airport, she had to cross the dangerous bombed out street. Her eczema is acting out all over again - because of stress. I copied her message to someone whom I thought would care and pray. And the reply came in like a slap on my face: “Hmm… sometimes, her stress is self-induced…" Self-induced stress? Where has empathy gone to?
Why don’t Singaporeans realise the real stress of God-lovers who put their lives out there for the sake of obeying and loving their Lord and the people He loves. Have peace and stability lulled us into callous indifference?
My heart broke. I pray that the Lord would make us an instrument of His peace. May my prayers be made restless until His peace is found on earth.