Let's All Take a Moment . . .
As I write this the situation in the Middle East continues to deteriorate, people continue to die and arrogant men are issuing statements of "open war" and "war on every level," digging their heels further and further into the ground to show no sign of backing down or cease fire. And I am sad.
I'm sad and I'm scared and I wonder what it's like to be an Israeli citizen or a Lebanese citizen in fear for your life. For your childrens' lives. I wonder what it must be like to corral your children and loved ones into a bomb shelter, to listen to the explosions and smell the smoke from the raging fires. I cannot imagine the grief of having spoken to your spouse at breakfast only to learn later that day that they won't be home for dinner because they were "caught in the crossfire;" that their life and subsequent death is now known as "collateral damage."
No matter how hard we wish it were, this issue, these conflicts are not black and white. Great crimes have been committed by both sides, there is blood on the hands of many and feelings of hatred run deep through the centuries. But what I do know is that modern military weaponry has never been so powerful, so deadly and so accessible. The fire power between these warring factions is tremendous and things continue to escalate. There will be more deaths and more injuries. More people will lose their fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters on both sides of this conflict.
Meanwhile, those in power will continue to posture. They will speak of strength and might - they will all make speeches from their safehouses and bunkers stating to the world why their side is right and why they must continue to fight. But I'm not buying it. There is no right and wrong - only death and destruction for the innocent civilians who once again feel powerless to control whether they live or die.
I'm not a religious person. I don't go to church. I think that religion, in particular, has played a major role in perpetuating this conflict and reinforcing the racist views held by governments who wish to control their people. But I do believe in God and the God I believe in is greatly disappointed in us right now because he didn't create us to kill one another with bombs and missiles.
So take a moment, any moment will do, and say a prayer for the people of the Middle East who are scared, who are terrified that tonight may be their last night and who don't know what tomorrow will bring. And while you're at it, ask whatever God you believe in to give those who have the power to stop this craziness the knowledge and will to do so.
And one more thing, kiss your children, your spouse, your partner - whoever it is that you love - good night tonight and thank God that you're safe inside your home where you will wake up tomorrow morning, have a quiet breakfast, check your email and have the chance to go about your day without worrying about your very survival.
Be safe, everyone.