I have had quite a few things weighing heavily on my mind this/last week. Here are the chewing-overs. I don’t think I have any conclusion to share, just thoughts. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I can’t really begin to wrap my mind around the whole issue. I remember the feel of Cairo, the smells, the traffic, the vibrancy of the people. When I think of what is happening in Egypt, my mind is overwhelmed. Even more so with a country like Syria – someplace I’ve never been (that list is pretty big, so not a big deal). I’ll be honest, most of my understanding of Syria is from Old Testament studies in church. I know very, very little of modern-day Syria.
So, when this came out, I jumped at it. I’m glad someone thought out that most Americans know very little about the country, what is happening there right now, and the ramifications of it. I do not claim to be an expert on any of it. What hits me and provokes me the most thought are: chemical warfare, children, national sovereignty, tyranny…the list could go on. I often throw myself into interaction with people from other countries. What I’ve found is that they are more than not just as patriotic as the average American. We get all, “Go USA!” in our little circles, but most of these people, even after they’ve come to the States, are fiercely in love with their homeland. I want the people of Syria to be able to make their own country and be proud of it.
I hate bullies, which is what seems to be happening with the Assad regime. When I was a kid, I can remember two specific incidents when I stood up to a bully – not for my own benefit, but for a friend or younger child. I was willing to do what it took to keep them from picking on my friend. I wanted the world to be a better place for them – for all of us – and that sense of justice has always been one of the primary gears working through my actions. Those children…I get sick when I think of what is done to children around the world…Syria is just such another place.
I get that we need to ensure that nations and groups keep chemical warfare out of their arsenal. That is a big deal. I get ticked off when I have to drive/walk through someone’s cigarette smoke-cloud. I can’t imagine at all what it would be like in a chemical warfare attack. If we know it happened, there should be some kind of action. Not full-on involvement or even half-involvement, because we’re already stretched beyond ourselves (um, economic crisis???). But something needs to be done. That kind of behavior cannot abide.
This happened. Something in me wants to rejoice at justice being served. I no longer have to foot the bill for this sorry excuse of a person to continue living. And then the mercy in my beliefs and faith come up and say, “Uh, Christ died for him too. What are you going to do with that?” And honestly…all I can say is that if Ariel Castro accepted Christ’s gift of redemption, then God will reconcile the two of us into one family when we reach heaven. Right now, I don’t have that knowledge so I’m just going to leave it. Those women are still rescued and out of bondage. THAT is what I’ll just have to focus on. It’s all I can process right now.
Loss of Faith
I have some dear friends who talk about people close to them who have chosen not to follow Christ, are on the fence, or have walked away from it. I have been praying for them in earnest. And then I heard that some of my loved ones have left the Christian faith, in a fairly explosive way. Not only that, but the explosiveness has come from the feedback of believers who were in their circle and local community. My heart just breaks. I am ashamed of the brethren who are acting in a malicious way. However, I wonder how much of it is actually malicious and how much is genuine concern that is being presented as malice because my loved ones want to feel justified at their leaving.
And it also brings up the question of eternal security – once saved always saved. If the person was truly a believer, can they really recant and not be one? So were they ever believers in the first place? Or are they just walking in sin now and still have their salvation secure? I can’t answer that for these particular people – I don’t know their hearts. But it hurts me to know that the fellowship has been broken and I don’t know what to do about it. Do I do anything about it? Do I just pray? How can it be just prayer and why does that always feel like a token action or last resort when there seems to be no other good solution? Prayer is powerful. Lord, help me to trust in the power of prayer, if not to change them, then to change me.
Did you hear this story? I am amazed that the hospital was even allowed to get as far as they did in trying to take over this child’s life. This is just another story that disenchants me to the American healthcare system. I’ve been going to a chiropractor lately and I’m trying to get my body healthier so that I don’t have to use the standard healthcare system. It seems broken. I don’t want it. I say this knowing that tomorrow, I will be going to pick out a Primary Care Physician for myself and the future fam…and also getting an antibiotic for a UTI that has got the better of me. What hypocrisy!