Today I read the post of an acquaintance on Facebook, noting that it looks like America is preparing to go into war to prevent Syria from continuing the use of chemical armaments.
His argument was that it’s time for France to get involved, and give America and Great Britain a break. I wrote back stating that the moment we believe that we “have done enough”, is when the world gets a little bit darker, the road a little narrower and the future loses a bit of hope.
Then I walked across the room and realized I was sobbing. I was sobbing for the indignity of the 1.7 million registered refugees, for the reality of 100,000 known deaths, for unending war, hunger and this American desire for apathy. I cried for the fact that no one around me in America NEEDS my presence and my existence here is simply that – an existence, and oftentimes a pleasant one, sometimes with lots of laughter, sometimes with a few tears. However, I am not creating a better life for anyone here and that leaves me feeling useless, worthless and pointless.
My tears did not solve anything, except to make me realize how strongly I feel that compassion and generosity are requirements for anyone who claims to be a part of the Christian faith. Now I am seeking a more practical application for these emotions, and I have not yet found the answer. Currently, I am simply sharing in hopes that you will ponder the application of your faith, the placement of your funds, the meanness of your spirit so easily developed when we live in relative comfort.
I don’t know if America should go to war in Syria. We don’t have the financial resources, I know that. I don’t believe that bigger guns create a peaceful future. I don’t want more American, British or French families to be short the presence of a parent, brother, sister, son or daughter. Truly, I don’t want that tragedy continued for another decade.
A few hours later, a couple had people responded (and I noted, NOT the person who had posted that asinine post originally). One stated that he agreed with me in part, but not entirely, another said that (unlike me) he had not lost respect for him, and finally one person demanded to know why I thought that America should ALWAYS be responsible.
Since the entire post was removed, I am copying my response here:
Because we have grown-up privileged with resources at our fingertips. I don’t know your history, but after living in 3 different developing countries and befriending refugees – I know what kind of atrocities we are standing up to try to stop. I don’t know where your feelings come from, perhaps you have seen the same and simply came away from the experience with different opinions. But knowing people that work for the UN, knowing refugees fleeing war, knowing people who have never known clean water – I will always support trying to end that. Because as a Christian, I understand that it is my place to stand up for the weak, the marginalized, those who cannot speak for themselves. Genocide is never okay [over 100,000 have already been killed, and 1.7 million refugees registered], and since we have the knowledge and the weight to throw around – turning a blind eye because it is “someone else’s turn” is the least humane idea. From another angle, if this killing and cruelty does not stop, more will flee. Fleeing people arrive with nothing on their back but their clothes, it can take 18 months to 3 years for them to be granted asylum and working visas through the UN. This would create an even greater burden on stable countries around the globe, and given our economy – we can’t handle that. Saying we will not allow this inhumanity to continue is the decent thing to do, and it is better than allowing another wasteland to be perpetuated.