Yes, the situation may be different. The country and rebels were not out to destroy us. It was however, a civil war that had been embroiling for decades. The sides were convoluted, the government's intent and position was clear but almost too atrocious to believe. And it wasn't our fight.
I understand that we are risking our young men and women for someone else's civil war. But, we are the strongest nation in the world and when we sit by and let men murder thousands, we are complicit in their crimes. I learned nauseating details about Rwanda that will forever color how I see the world. The most outrageous was how few people stood up to those butchering BUT when outsiders simply stood up and said, "No-" not with weapons, not with tanks, but simply their bodies and their mouths, the attackers backed off. Did you read that? Did you know that? It only took men and women willing to stand up and say, enough. Yet, as a nation, we refused to take part, at all.
I know that this is not Rwanda. I understand that the brutality known in the Middle East is beyond my comprehension. But, I also know that no one thought their actions alone could change a genocide in progress. Yet, they did. And it could have been still drastically different. What if we, as the US had sent people in? What if the UN had not been so cowardly? What if's can be haunting, especially to those whose world was dismantled while the world watched.
One day, my daughter may sit at a table with the Salomon of Syria. She will hear his heartache and know that something could have changed his life, saved him. That thought hurts my heart.
Children should not face bullies. Nations should not face ruthless dictators. Someone should stand FOR the innocent, irregardless of their ethnic origin. We, as a nation are built on a foundation of faith and mercy. When did we become so self absorbed that two million lives displaced was not worthy of help, of action? When did we become so focused on our own well being that children's lives were dispensable?
This is terrifying to me. I never again want to look into a face of a person whose life has been dismantled and know that I did nothing to stop it. I never again want to see a beautiful country and recognize that my nation was guilty of standing by and watching, while evil consumed the sweet lives of hundreds of thousands, all because we didn't have an interest.
I am so thankful that The Lord has allowed me the briefest of glimpses into parts of the world so far away. I have no doubt that all is turned for His glory. I know that the lives of young men like Salomon were perfectly pieced together for so much more than I could imagine. But, I cannot help but wonder how much we, as a nation missed because of our hard hearts.
Are we not acting out of fear? Are we standing still because both sides hate us? As Christians, we are called to love our enemies and never be fearful; to protect the weak. Above all, I am a Christ follower. My allegiance is to my Savior' purposes, to care for those in need, not only those who politics align with mine, not only those who desire great things for me. The Old Testament story of the Good Samaritan is supposed to teach us something. Enemies are to sacrifice themselves and the blessings will come. Why are we only willing to risk when when the stakes are clear? Why can we not give as the Samaritan?
I do not know what helping would look like. I don't know HOW to do it. I do know that sometimes when we help, we do more harm than good, in this life. I also know that when we are obedient to what The Lord calls us to, the consequence is not what he judges, our heart is. Doing nothing is unacceptable. Ignoring the suffering or absolving ourselves from guilt is ridiculous. We must, as disciples of the Messiah, do His work and care for all of His people. I also am confident that WE, as Christians, know how the story ends. So why would we EVER be afraid? Will we look back, with regret to what we should have done to save innocent people? Will we ever see the people over the politics?