The Unsettling – A Call to Wage Love

By Karen Isbell

The first time I experienced the unsettling was fifteen years ago, standing in The Gap. I had just returned from a two week trip in a third world country. I had met poverty face-to-face in the deep brown eyes of a child. A simple shopping trip to pick up a white shirt was now a tug-of-war.

How could I spend my time shopping while children were put on the street to beg in hopes that they might eat that day? I grabbed the white shirt with a orange clearance sticker. A shopping bag has never been so heavy.

The unsettling is a tension that is an ever present part of my daily life. There are times when it’s weight is crushing and leaves me speechless. Other times the weight is more subtle. I wrestle with it in the ordinary and the extraordinary.

The weight of the unsettling has been greater this year. Urging me to a simpler life. Clearing out the noise and keeping my gaze fixed upon the One who satisfies.

A month ago the weight came crashing down when Nepal was turned upside down from the earthquake(s). Places that God had used to shape my heart were now rubble. Children I loved dearly sleeping in tents during monsoon season.

It has come crashing down again tonight. I can’t sleep. The weight is too great. I can’t begin to process all this.

I never want the weight of the unsettling to go away. I want it to be present every time I buy something. I want to wrestle with it every time I choose how to spend my time. I want it to motivate me when fear threatens to cripple me.

The unsettling keeps me from being numb to the broken. The unsettling keeps me from being blind to the poor. The unsettling keeps me from the pit of myself.

Let’s not ignore the unsettling. Let’s respond by giving hope and love to the least of these. Click here to find out how you can give hope and love to those affected by ISIS


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