Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I Wish I Was in Aleppo

The world watches as the fight between the Syrian Army (and Russia) and the rebel forces for Aleppo nears an end. The news is filled with stories that have been leaked out through various sources onsite (BBC, CNN, FOX, etc.), but it's hard to know what exactly is happening. Quotes like this one give glimpses: "the UN children's agency cited a doctor as saying a building housing as many as 100 unaccompanied children was under heavy attack." (from the BBC article) Bodies fill the streets, soldiers are going door to door and massacring everyone, and places where the weak and vulnerable congregate (like hospitals) are being targeted. Apart from scenes I've viewed in films, I can't picture this... 

The stench of death filling the air, along with gun powder and charred rubble. Weeping and wailing until that too is silenced. Laughter as hardened soldiers, tired of fighting and brainwashed by war, seek to annihilate their victims and claim victory. Women being raped openly in the streets as a sign of public humiliation and domination. Children dangling from ropes wrapped around their necks, as a warning that there will be no next generation for their enemies. I've seen enough pictures and heard enough firsthand stories to fill in the gaps of what isn't being said in the news. 

This morning I woke up after sleeping in a warm bed, in cozy room, in a safe house. I ate fresh food for breakfast as I sat in a quiet kitchen. I checked my email and social media with my fast internet access... And I felt sick in my heart! I didn't want to read anything more about Aleppo or Syria or the refugee crisis. I don't want to know, because I feel powerless sitting here in America where life is easy, comfortable, and free. I'd so much rather be in a refugee camp, sitting in that house with the 100 unaccompanied children, or doing something! I want to enter in, I want to sit with people, I want to share in their suffering, I want to offer them Love, Life, and Hope! But here feels like nothing...

And that's the lie I'm believing. Here is something. Here is a prayer to the Almighty God of the universe who is there, who is 'El Roi'- the God who sees, who is entering in, who is powerful, who is love, and who cares. Here is building awareness by sharing the emotions I have as I thrash about trying to make sense of this world. Here is celebrating Immanuel, the example we all have to enter the fray. Here is rest, being filled up again, and gaining skills and perspective to be better equipped. Here is right where God has me for this season.

"Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! 
Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! 
Lift your hands to Him for the lives of your children, 
who faint for hunger at the head of every street." 
Lamentations 2:19

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