Friday, August 31, 2012

Now That I Have Seen {Friday Flashbacks}


Kevin Carter won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for this photo taken during the Sudan famine.  In 1994, he committed suicide.

“I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain, of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners.” - Kevin Carter, from suicide note

This particular picture depicts a starving child crawling desperately towards the United Nations Food camp, as a vulture stalks nearby.  Carter's duty as a photographic journalist was to remain separate from the story; he never intervened for this child.  But critics claim he shirked basic human kindness by seeing the desperate need of this young one, snapping a picture, and walking away.

Kevin Carter, via

Carter, via

Carter died under a weight of hopelessness.

Carter wielded the camera, but we view the photos.  We watch the news.  We hear the statistics.  We are therefore witnesses to a thousand needs and atrocities around the world.  News and social media grant us awareness; we choose our response.  We have a choice: to see, yet remain separate from the various tragedies around our globe... or to act as fountains pouring out God's love.

For Christians, there is always hope, even in the most desperate of situations.
Hopeless situations are ripe for God to redeem.  Will we take part?
Will we hoard our hope? our witness? our resources? our love?

“Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help. 
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,” [i.e. "that's not for me"] 
will that get you off the hook? 
Someone is watching you closely, you know— 
Someone not impressed with weak excuses.” 
-Proverbs 24:12 
(The Message)

“Once our eyes are opened 
we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. 
God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, 
knows that we know 
and holds us responsible to act.” 
- Proverbs 24:12

(This post is a hybrid of three posts I wrote in November of 2009: 1, 2, 3)


The Kirks said...

Wow! I can't believe that I have never seen that picture. Really makes you think. I can't imagine being that is easy to point fingers but we do much the same.

RACHEL said...

It's an incredible photo and a heartbreaking story. And you're right... It's OUR story!

Zhanna said...

Sigh . . . what a devastating image :( Sure puts thing into perspective.

Not to mention it frustrates me how self absorbed and spoiled our society is.

Have you ever read the book The Hole in Our Gospel?

If you haven't, please check it out. I think you can order a free copy online.

Anyhoot, that book was mind, body and soul transforming for me, if that makes any sense . . . It literally made it so hard for me to relate with some of my friends who own over a hundred pair of shoes and still continue buying more, I could not understand their wants, I could not sit down with a circle of women and engage in conversations about shopping and luxury vacations. In full honesty, all of it angered me.

I have moments where I cry tears of outrage because it boggles my mind how many people, especially Christians, who turn a blind to all the suffering that is out there.

That photographer had a front row seat to the atrocities that exist today. He was never the same again. And how can anyone ever be when they see something like that up close and personal. It's life changing. It literally brings you to your knees. And I think our society needs that. Its need to be awakened and brought to its knees.

RACHEL said...

I keep seeing talk about that book! (A Hole in Our Gospel) You might have just tipped me over the edge to go get it. :)