mardi, juin 13, 2006
Rend your hearts
I wish my daughter a good night as she lies in her canopy bed while the birds quiet and the night stills in our peaceful neighborhood. "I love you, Sian" I say as I head over to my bedroom, already projecting ahead to the rest of the night and the chores I have. "I love you, too, Mom, she tells me with a predictability I never take for granted. Sitting down lat the computer, I idly bring up the NY Times website. I find an obscenity: on the front page are two blanket wrapped corpses. One can be identified as a man. The other, smaller body, looks like that of a child. The Israelis were going atger militants with rocks in Gaza. One rocket hit the militants. The other killed a family, including two children. The article is describes Palestinian grief and fury as well as the usual justifications and denials from militants on both side. As I take dirty dishes and put them in the dishwasher, tears of rage and disgust spill down my cheeks. Why is it still acceptable to kill civilians, particularly children? How can the deaths of a seven year old boy or a ten year old girl be justified under any calculus? I wonder at the barbaric men and women who accept the death of children as collateral damage. I want to curse the Israeli politicians and the Palestinian militants who cooperate in creating a climate in which the deaths of these little ones can be anything but unthinkable. For a moment, I hate them with the cold anger with which they probably hate one another. But then the words of the prophet Joel come to my mind: 'Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments.' Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and relenting of evil." (JOEL 2:12-13). Only love can disarm cruelty and hatred. Only the simplicity of a child like faith can bring men of war to their knees. God's time is not mine. His view extends well beyond our earthly lives. I will pray tonight for the dead children of Gaza. And I will try, I will really try, to pray for their enemies that their hearts may be torn asunder and opened to one another.