Saturday, February 16, 2008

. paix sur terre .

From where I sit, the world is at peace.
Everything is quiet.
Too quiet.

So I close my eyes and tell my mind to journey somewhere else, somewhere far from here.
I open my eyes and bursts of light flash before me. Screaming children, heat, debris, and blood.
Im not yet sure where this isbut its terrifying. Soldiers, libertines, gun shots, dust in my eyes. Israel. Ive been here before. Its happening right now, violent war, and all the while, I am in my room thinking to my self, its oh so quiet.
I shut my eyes in fear and tell my mind to try something else. Something lessfrightening.

Again, I open them to bright, blinding light. This time, there are no bombs, only swarms of bugs and a burning sun and the smell of feces. I see a baby lying on a pile of grass, stomach swollen and face covered in flies. Youve probably seen something similar on a Feed the Children Commercial. But trust me, this is a vision too graphic for TV. Inside a mud hut, a mother lies sleeping, or so one would think. But if you look closer, you would notice that she is not breathing. She has been dead for days, rotting in the heat after a long a painful fight with AIDS. Her village has abandoned her, and her child is alone, but unaware. He will die within the weekhe simply cant survive the sun and starvation. We are in Zambia, and I feel as helpless as the dying child. Im too far to reach him.

Im not sure I can keep up this game. It hurts too much.
But I cant help myself.
Take me somewhere else. Somewhere colder.

Snow falls on the top of my head and instantly I am chilled to the bone. Cobble stone roads and posters of naked women are everywhere. Ahhh, Moscow. How I have dreaded my return to you. I look around at the furry hated citizens and glance at the magnificent architecture. It is quite beautiful. Then I see her, a little girl on the sidewalk. I watch her. I watch her waiting. Then it happens. I watch her walk up to a stranger, and proposition him. He looks pleased. He looks like hes 50. He takes her under his arm and walks her to a nearby cab. They ride off to his flat and I cringe at the thought of what that child is about to go through. She might be 10 years old, or she might be 16its really too hard to tell anymore. But she needs the money. She has to eat. If she doesnt take this job, shell spend the next few days sniffing glue to curb the hunger pains. She might be 10 years old.

Enough. Im fighting back anger now, and for good reason. I am mad at the destruction and the disease and the poverty and the perversion. I am angry because I want to fix it all with the wave of my hand. I want to run to the girl in Moscow and offer her a place to live and be safe. I want to carry the dying infant to my home and nurture him back to health. I want to name him.

There is too much to be done, and Im tucked away in my safe and peaceful room in Australia. My 60000 sq. ft. room that a family of 10 could live in. Its disheartening, and yet I have hope. As difficult as it seems, I know that my God is able to do above and beyond what I ask and dream. He gives grace to the humble, he healed the sick and fed the poor, and he asks me to do the same.

We are, as a culture, overfed and overindulged. As Christians, we spend most of our time quibbling over doctrine, theory and power. That is not Christianity, and I will not be a part of it.

{The God I live for gave us two primary commandments}
1. Love Him with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength.
2. Love my neighbor as myself.

And I watch the circus around me, a parade of the self-seeking and self-absorbed.
And I think, God, save me from myself.
If I have all the riches of the world and all the praise of man, but have not love.I am nothing.
And as cliché as it sounds, I am certain that Love, and only Love, will save us.

I know too much,
Their blood is on my hands.

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