Tag Archive | Aleppo

Lest We Forget-5; A Monthly Reminder

(A father cradles his dead child after a bombing raid in Aleppo in 2016)

his arms full of emptiness,

his mind blank,

his heart shredded

in a thousand pieces

mirroring the rubble

of his shattered life

          Let’s not let ourselves forget the horrors that so many refugees experience.  Aleppo.  With all the terrorist attacks around the world, Aleppo now seems so long ago and far away.  But the ruins of Aleppo remain, reminding us of the 4 years of horror and devastation endured by the citizens of this ancient city.  It is estimated that 31,000 people were killed during the years of fighting, until Aleppo finally fell to Syrian government forces, aided by the Russians, in December, 2016.  Thousands more citizens of Aleppo became refugees in search of a new home, a new life.

          Let’s remember to pray for these refugees.  Remember to encourage our government to be responsive to the needs of these desperate people.  Remember to share some of what you have with those in need.  Here again are some agencies through which you can offer help:

               Church World Service     cwsglobal.org/our-work/refugees-and-immigrants/

               International Rescue Committee     https://www.rescue.org/

Lest We Forget

omran-daqneesh

“But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

(Mark 10:31)

“America First.”  A slogan much bandied about these days.  A slogan that makes me very uncomfortable.  Not because I don’t love my country.  I do, and I am grateful for all the good this country offers.  But I’m uncomfortable because this slogan

                     –flies in the face of Jesus’ warning that “many who are first will be last, and the last will be first;”

                     –permits us to feel entitled to neglect the  needs of others, especially the needs of millions of refugees who are fleeing from war, tyranny, and violence in their countries, in the hope of finding a safe place to live out their lives.

In response to this slogan, each month I want to post a picture of one of these refugees.  My hope is that as we look carefully at these pictures, we will remember those other words of Jesus who said that when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the stranger, we are really feeding, clothing, and caring for him.  And when we turn away from the hungry, the naked, and the stranger, we are really turning away from him.

This month’s picture

omran-daqneesh

Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year old wounded in the fighting in Aleppo, Syria

His family lost their home.

August 17, 2016

Yes, we want our country to be safe, but aren’t we safer when we help others find safety as well?  Please join me in insisting that our leaders reject “America First” policies and lead our country instead with policies that are good for all people, no matter their race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion.

Watching for the Morning: an autumn lament

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Psalm 130, selected verses

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.

Watching for the morning

in the drab of weakened

hours stretching endless

through my days;

watching for the morning

in the muck and grime

of ugly accusations, gutter

politics, that lurch us

towards an un-triumphant day

of choice and reckoning;

watching for the morning

in the rubble of Aleppo,

bombs raining grief

upon a people drenched

in sorrows of a past

and future lost;

watching for the morning

in the wake of hurricanes

that rip apart foundations,

obliterate whole families, and scar the

earth with puddles of despair;

watching, watching, watching,

hands reaching out to hold

each other up, to touch the

palms nail-spikѐd on that

crossbeam of so long ago,

those fingers reaching out

to grasp our tattered hands

and draw us to a near, if distant,

morning, light perpetual.