Saturday, December 15, 2012

Grieved

I sat in shocked silence watching the news of the evil that took those lives yesterday.  It was painful to watch and know that the families of these children and adults will never be the same.  It was shocking because it was such a "perfect" town.  It was shocking because the children were so young.  It was shocking because Christmastime is supposed to be happy. 

All day I walked around in a daze, grieving in my heart for this horrific act of violence.  But I was also grieved over the deaths of so many children and adults who will not be grieved by many, will not be honored like they should be.  The people in The Democratic Republic of Congo are being wiped out by a rebel group of pure evil.  Acts are being done to innocent children that are unspeakable.  Hundreds are dying.  I don't have an actual count because I don't even know if anyone knows.  While every person in America today know the numbers from yesterday - children are being killed and not remembered.  Please understand that I am not saying it is wrong to honor and to grieve deeply over those 20 children and 6 adults who lost their lives yesterday.  We should grieve.  God does.  Every life is precious and no child should die especially from violence like that.  I wept as I watched the news.  The Bible says we should weep with those who weep.  But, today there are family members in the Congo weeping over the loss of children too.  There are people who have fled everything to live in horrible conditions in refugee camps.  They know that every person they loved is gone.  They may never be able to return to their homes (if they are even left standing).  They didn't love their children, wives, husbands, sisters, or brothers any less than the families of the Sandyhook school.   While the victims of the shooting yesterday will receive the highest honor in memorial services and be laid to rest among beautiful flowers, the children who die in the Congo may never be properly buried.  They likely will not have a beautiful memorial service attended by people who love them.  The family members may never even get a chance to say good-bye.  And it's not right.

Why is it that those who die in other countries are so easily forgotten and ignored?  Every life has the same sacredness.  Every life is precious.  Is it because of the poverty of the country?  Is it because of the danger of being in the Congo right now?  There aren't media swarming the place of the deaths in the Congo - is it because they are afraid for their own safety?  Is it because we don't live in Africa so it doesn't hit us with such force?  A shooting on US soil feels like a personal attack to us, while every day people are killing with guns hundreds of people in other countries and we don't feel a thing.  Why?

As I said before, I believe it is right to grieve the loss of life that took place yesterday in Conneticut.  We should be broken hearted over the evil.  But we shouldn't only be broken hearted over evil that is close to home.  My brother posted the following quote on his facebook wall the other day and it touched my heart because we are selfish people.  We wall ourselves off from tragedy that isn't our own.

                     "I see an innumerable crowd of men, all alike and equal,
                     turned in upon themselves in a restless search for those petty,
                     vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls. Each of them
                    living apart, is almost unaware of the destiny of all the rest. His
                    children and personal friends are for him the whole of the human
                    race; as for the remainder of his fellow citizens, he stands alongside
                    them but does not see them; he touches them without feeling them;
                   he exists only in himself and for himself; if he still retains his
                   family circle, at any rate he may be said to have lost his country.”

                                                                                                  ~Tocqueville, 184

Oh God, let our hearts be broken for the suffering in the whole world - not just the suffering that touches close to home.  Let our eyes not be closed to the pain of others, just because our children are safe ... give us love and a passion for justice not only in our own country, but all over the world!

In closing I wanted to share a verse I read in my daily devotional - it was actually supposed to be for yesterday but I didn't read yesterday.  I thought it was very appropriate to remember that this time on earth is not all there is - and even when evil prevails in carrying out unspeakable crimes, there will be a day of judgement - and for those who believe there will be a new earth ruled by the Lord in which there will be not more tears, death and sin.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
Psalm 37:5-13

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