As I was watching CNN yesterday, feeling hopeless about the escalating situation between Hezbollah, and Israel; an image was suddenly thrown onto the screen, an image violent in its portrayal of a tragedy not yet hours old. It showed 20 men, perhaps a few more or less, the exact number I don’t remember; dead, lined up on the side of the road. They were of all ages; young to some who seemed old enough to be Grand-fathers. The horror of the image came from the silent presence of all these bodies, looking like they were simply sleeping.
From the newscast, they were simply laborers, unloading a truck load of produce, probably worrying about their families and their safety, or perhaps just joking among themselves, when suddenly “it” came from the sky; and then there were none. I can’t imagine how many other people are affected by this tragedy, hundreds I would think. People stunned, filled with pain and rage over the injustice of it all. The mindless violence that is taking out people from both sides, who do not want the war, but only the right to live out their lives in peace. Without the interference of those who only want war and destruction.
It is one big hostage situation. In which the populations of both countries are being held, and in which I fear many more will die before this is over. I would wager that those 20 killed, for the most part were not political at all. They just wanted to live out their lives in peace, perhaps some or most did not hate anyone, and perhaps many of them had a Jewish friend, who knows. The press would like me to believe that ‘the Palestinian people’ all want Israel destroyed. I have a hard time believing that, many no doubt do hate, but I think the majority just want to live in peace.
Our essential unity, very real, cannot be destroyed by hatred or war; it only deepens the wounds of an already deeply wounded species, piling higher and higher the pain of the world. Jesus wept for good reason, and perhaps continues to weep to this day. We do nail each other to the cross, just as men did to Jesus. Sebastian Moore said that when looking at the crucified, we behold our own souls, nailed, helpless, and dying, victimized by our sins, against others, and ourselves. It is only mercy both received and offered that will save us in the end. Mercy is grace, freely given. Until this is learned then I am afraid we will never get off the wheel we are all tied too. CNN and Fox news only make this reality more real, and immediate, to those who watch this ongoing saga, that if not stopped will only lead to the destruction of that whole area, and perhaps further abroad. Such is our irrationality and yes sin.