Today’s blog is a little longer than usual. That’s just the way it came from my fingers. I encourage you to read it anyway. We need to remember. Thank you and Blessings, Janet
We Must Remember!
by Janet Stobie
Our book club just read Farley Mowat’s war memoir. His story opened my heart to the sickening brutality of a war fought by “children”, ages eighteen to twenty-four. Today, news reports hammer us with pictures of slaughter, poison gas, terrified people. As I read, Mowatt’s book, the protective wall of numbness I had developed disintegrated. This horror, this chaos, this “hell” really did happen and it continues to happen right now, everyday.
On Remembrance Day, we’ll hear the words – “We will remember.” In my heart I will be saying, “We must remember.” We cannot let the numbness creep in around us. We must be spurred to action. We must stop this relentless march of destruction.
What can we do? Psychologists have told us poverty and hunger make the most fertile ground for the forces of greed and hate. Yet we continue to hold tight to our riches and ignore those in need, even in our own country. Years ago, I watched a documentary on the teaching of hate. My stomach roiled as I listened to mothers and fathers purposely telling and retelling their stories of injustice and hatred to wide-eyed children, soaking up the fear and thirst for revenge.
Today, we too are teaching hate and fear and greed. We complain about those foreigners of whatever race.
“Their religious customs are strange.”
“They take our jobs.”
“They’re bringing violence into our peaceful country.”
“They don’t want to be like us.“
We tell ourselves we deserve the abundance we experience. We’ve worked hard for it.” “Our homegrown poor, homeless, unemployed, aboriginals don’t want to work. They expect handouts.” Even if we would never say these things out loud ourselves, we remain silent when others do.
Yes, we cannot singlehandedly stop war around the world. We can follow in Jesus’ footsteps. We can bring healing and love to people we encounter. We can share from our wealth (and we have plenty) with one local project and one overseas project. We can ask God to open our minds to hear our thoughts, words and actions that teach greed, hate and bigotry. We can ask for God’s help so that we won’t help build that relentless war machine growing in our world. We can refuse to send another innocent child into the horror of war. We can pray for change in ourselves and others.
Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to Jesus and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.” (Luke 9:12-13)