Something is horribly wrong. One of my children watches early morning kids tv while the other sleeps quiet upstairs.
Meanwhile, there are children starving on mountaintops and children being beheaded in a park. I put the kettle on for coffee, survey the happy mess of yesterday’s play. I put toast in the toaster and the birds whistle outside the window. How would I feel if it were my daughter, my son? It is. They are distant, but they are part of my own body.
I feel responsible. Not for the crimes, but for my brothers and sisters, and all the children distorted by suffering. I do not feel able, not in the least. What is my response?
Coffee’s ready and the sun stretches out lazily through our little valley, the same sun that burns angry over the brazen evil in another land. This evil, this is not new. Braver and better people face it every day, challenge it every day, in thousands of ways all over the world. But sometimes a heart can get whiplash, and mine is here aching for Mosul and Mount Sinjar.
I feel helpless. I have a few extra dollars, a few extra prayers. We try not to think too much on these things, lest our lives be soiled by their awful truths. But I cannot look away. I must not forget, when my children are screaming in laughter, that others are not. I don’t have answers, and only a small voice, but I will denounce this vomit of hell. I have a heart, and today I will let it be stained with the sorrows before me.
My children are safe. My toast is cold. My heart is broken. Perhaps, together somehow, our love can make a way even into this hate and horror?
*Part II – What We Did.