The image of a little child dead on a beach is sickening but so is the image of crucified children or beheaded children, or homeless starving refugee children, maybe it is that we can bear to look at this little child and imagine his story and the tragedy that lies behind it, whereas more gory images, like dismembered foetus', all but the slightly sick avoid or hurry past. There are tens of thousands of children like this poor child, and the pictures have been around for a long time.
I am concerned that this particular image has unleashed 'compassion' almost as fashion accessory, first from journalists, then newsdesks and the media and now even from politicians, at least opposition politicians and backbenchers. This little child makes the statistics of Mr Cameron's 'swarms' into an individual tragedy, Stalin had said, 'a million deaths is a statistic, one death is a tragedy'. I am concerned, but I am glad that at last the media can focus on the death of children rather than the destruction of a temple ruined in Palmyra.
The feeling of 'compassion' is one thing, it is likely to disappear as soon as it flares up, it is actually doing something that matters, and that has to be a deeper interior change rather than a signature on an e-petition or drawing out a handful of loose change. A world that ignores the plight of so many over so many years is essentially hard hearted, if it is manipulated by a single image that 'goes viral', rather than human need is essentially massaging its own 'feel good' self indulgence, tomorrow it will be back to kittens or donkeys.
It might be possible for an atheist but for a Christian, not caring for the poor, not welcoming the stranger is not possible if we hope for heaven.