Saturday, August 20, 2016

how long before our children know peace?

Several days ago, an image splayed all over the five thirty news. It was the image of a four year old boy, bruised and bloodied, being carried to an ambulance. His body was so dirty, his hair so matted...but what broke my heart was the vacant stare that simply screamed, "help me!" His tiny legs just barely stuck out over the edge of the seat. He could have been my child...or your child, except that we don't live in war torn areas. This child is the innocent product of a five year long battle in Syria. But it could also have been  from a war anywhere at any time in history. Children are always the innocent victims. Children are always caught in the crossfire. In short, it is always the child who pays.

I will not go into the political aspects of this war. Hasn't there already been enough of "my side is better than YOUR side!" lately? When I view the image of that face...or for that matter, the body laying so innocently on the shore last year, the body of a toddler who was swept off the boat his family was escaping war in, only to be carried out to sea, my mind goes back to another time in history when even the Son of God was also targeted as a helpless child and fled to live in exile until the political tides had changed.

It is always the child who pays. Children don't start wars. They don't shoot up neighborhoods. They don't do drugs...or drink to oblivion. They don't take sides in a heated divorce battle. All a child wants is to feel safe, secure and to be loved. Yet for centuries, they are the ones who suffer from a lack of security, all due to the greed or power struggles or addictions that consume adults.

Take a look again at that photo. We have in America so many communities screaming about justice or the lack of it. They will stop at nothing to continue the violence by destroying neighborhoods, firebombing stores, looting from businesses that had absolutely nothing to do with the initial onslaught. America is practically a war zone unto itself. While we draw lines in the sand, innocent children are being shot. While we scream about injustice, tonight a mother grieves for her child who was killed in the crossfire. While those who protest by shutting down freeways chant, kids go to bed hungry because mom or dad just used their paycheck to get high.

And God weeps over our sad choices.

You and I are in this mess. Is it enough to shake our heads and walk away? What can we do to stop the madness? What have you done to demonstrate how to be peace-filled? It is NOT enough to sit in church on Sunday and claim to be holy! Words without actions mean NOTHING! Look at that child in the photo, I mean....really look....then...go and DO something. Because that child is every child. That child was treated in a hospital. He has siblings and parents. But his future remains uncertain, why? He has lived all of his life in a war torn country that shows no signs of stopping its carnage.

 Here in America also, due to greed, lies and power struggles, our own children are also living in fear. This needs to stop. Even if all you do is to help one person, that is one less person who is in pain.

May God bless us and show us His mercy. Now...go spread His peace to all you meet.