Not hearing the news

reading daily news webreadyA few years ago the British actress, Joanna Lumley, spent a week or two alone on a desert island as part of a TV documentary. She was left with a bag of rice and simply expected to make do. Afterwards, when asked whether she enjoyed anything about the experience she said: “not hearing the news.”

For some of us the daily news has become overwhelming. If it’s not terrorism, it’s wars or natural disasters or whatever nonsense a certain president is up to. It can feel as if the world has become a harsh and unfriendly place. The occasional inspiring human interest story at the end of the news report does little to redress the balance.

It is hard for human beings to cope in such a world. You can tell people are struggling. Our once open and friendly society has become more defensive, judgemental and fearful than it used to be. We more readily condemn people as guilty in the court of public opinion than we used to. Politicians who stroke our fears are becoming more popular. Our world has changed.

Ironically, this is exactly the situation into which God wants to pour his love. The problem is, God can’t do this without you and me. Joanna Lumley put it this way: “I simply try to love people. As I walk along I smile at them and say hello. It breaks my heart that half the time they don’t see or hear me because they have their headphones on.”

This article is part of Faith Journey, a newsletter from the National Centre for Evangelisation.

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