Look up [Perspective]

Things are pretty hectic with kids, a business to run and just the general run of life. It’s very easy to be completely caught up in my own life – head down, focusing on all my own issues and worries. But every now and then I get stirred, I get moved, or even a little shaken by something.  I’m sure it’s God’s way of giving me perspective – keeping my view up and out, rather than my default which is deeply entrenched in my own life.

Last week I got a text message from my wife Beck right in the middle of a super busy day at work:

…check out the blog post “a holy experience” – into Iraq #2. Life Less Greedy post. In tears after reading it. It needs to be told. X.

At that point I really had no time to read the article, but a part of me couldn’t ignore this prompting, nor the response that Beck had to the article. It came at a bad time in terms of my busy little world, but after reading just a few lines, my world suddenly seemed somewhat insignificant… that ‘important’ job I needed to get out to the client really didn’t seem that matter that much.

It was nice gain some healthy perspective.

It Needs To Be Told

The following is not exactly easy reading, not easy stuff to digest, but as Beck so rightly said… It needs to be told. It needs to be shared. We need to be aware, not only to pull our eyes away from our ‘first world problems’ and give us some perspective, but to respond.

They need someone to have enough courage to not turn away. That is us.

These are the words of Ann Voskamp. Ann is an author of several best selling books, writer of A Holy Experience, mum to six (yep 6) kids, and someone blown away by the amazing grace of God.

I really don’t need to write much to add to the words of Ann, but here’s a very brief context – #Iraq. #ISIS. #childtrafficking. #today. And here’s a few snippets from the article to pull back the curtain a little and encourage you to click through and read the article for yourself…

There are 5 year olds, 7 year olds, but — I looked for them: there are no nine year olds.

You can walk into any mall and buy a pair of NIKE running shoes for what they are buying a Christian or Yezidi girl from 1-9 years of age — $172 dollars. And she’s yours. For whatever you want, for as long as you want, to make do whatever you want. Sit with that. Yeah, we’re all done living in a world where a pair of shoes can last longer, have more worth, be treated with more value, than a fondled, raped and discarded 9 year-old-girl.

Why in God’s name do we get to be safe…. and they get to be killed, raped, displaced, destroyed?

Who has neat categories for this? I have no categories for this. I have no categories for what to say when you’re looking into the eyes of a woman whose man she loved was blown apart by a bullet from ISIS.

What do you do with this?

You need to read the article to figure out how you might respond, but just before you head off and read it, let me challenge you…

Here’s NOT what to do – nothing. DO SOMETHING. Don’t be overwhelmed by the enormity of the circumstance or your geographical or cultural divide.

…not on our watch will we say we can do nothing, not on our watch will we let women be made invisible so they can be made useable inventory.

Ann went to Iraq. Amazing. That’s not everyone’s calling… But I believe everyone is called to respond in someway to the atrocities that are going on in Iraq.

Awareness doesn’t seem like enough – it’s not, unless you are actively spreading and sharing this with others. Go forth…

Giving (money) is awesome, and possibly one of the best ways we in the wealthy west can help – Preemptive Love seems like a great place to start, or Open Doors are actively involved in mission in Iraq.

Preemptive Love

Praying is by far the best response. The situation is overwhelming, and the geographical and cultural divide is great… But God is greater. He listens when his people pray, and we are called to uphold our brothers and sisters in prayer. So if you do nothing else – read the article, then pray. Even if it’s just once, for one minute… God is listening. And if you don’t know what to pray, check out this helpful guide from Open Doors.

…how do you turn away and go back to your neat little life of wheaties and news reels and how does the church not stand up and howl?

Into Iraq

Here’s the link – read it, absorb it, respond.

Into Iraq #2: What the News isn’t telling You & Why We Can’t Afford to Pretend It’s Not Happening [Sozan’s Impossible Choice — and Our Very Possible One]


I named my business Elevate Creative – I chose ‘Elevate’ because my goal was to keep perspective, to ‘look up’ and keep my eyes focused on the bigger picture. Ironically, the business is one of the things that so easily draws me deep into my own little world. My challenge, apart from responding to the heart-wrenching issues in Iraq, is to keep looking up, to Elevate my view, to keep perspective…


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