Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Living Life on Life's Terms. A Word Press Production.

Sorrow

Utter Sadness

syrian-migrant-boy-turkey

Courtesy: Independent.co.uk

The boy was part of a group of 11 Syrians who drowned off the coastal town of Bodrum in Turkey after an apparent failed attempt to flee the war ravaged country

There are too many people fleeing conflict areas, in search for a new home, safety and security. This massive migration of human beings, “yes they are human beings” and not just migrants, where we do let them go, and where do they go?

How are “we” the WORLD to care for these people? There are so many, an entire section of the world has been vacated because of terrorism, and all their people are on the seas, on the trains, all over Europe, they are trying to find home.

They say we need to stop the conflict ! But how do we do that ? We are well over the tipping point on trying to do something to stop it. But the world has failed in its attempt to stop them.

Now all these people are on the move, trying to get somewhere, anywhere, than where they started at. The world needs a response. A GOOD response.

We need to step up as community and do something now.

They are human beings, let us not forget that.

The promises of Canadian Politicians are not good enough, too little, too late.

The world needs to come together to find a viable solution to this human crisis.


Shepherds and Sheep

the_steeple_of_emanuel_african_methodist_church_charleston_scPhoto Credit: Spencer Means, Wikimedia Commons

Lifted from: Steve Wiggins – Sects and Violence in the Ancient World

The murders in Charleston this week are part of an epidemic. The members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church join, unfortunately, a growing list of victims of hate. Not only hate, but that subspecies of hatred that calls the unstable to attack in a church, or synagogue, or mosque, as if to defy the very gods with their misanthropy.

Growing up we used to be taught that any place of worship is sacred. Then we believed it was because God had made it so, but now it is clear that sacred space is made so by the intent of those who worship. We find places where we believe we’re safe from the trials of the everyday world.

A place where God will look over us. A place, dare we call it, of sanctuary. Sanctuary is a concept that has gone extinct. As children we all knew of the concept of “home” in chasing games—the place where you were free and need not worry about someone coming after you. Amnesty was granted at the cry of “olly olly oxen free.”

In the biblical world, we’re told, those in danger could flee to the temple and grasp the horns of the altar and be safe. It wasn’t that someone couldn’t be pulled off, but it was that an inherent respect attended sacred places.

No place is sacred any more. Hatred has a way of overriding what we all recognize as civilization. Well-armed youth and a culture of hatred have never led to peace. Xenophobia may be natural, but it can be disarmed through education.

Unfortunately, in this country at least, education is not valued. In fact, in the culture wars, those who have the most sympathy for those who commit hate crimes will be among the first to cut education spending. It’s a luxury we can’t live without. We need to teach the meaning of sanctuary again. We need to teach the meaning of love.

Human beings shouldn’t have to rely on sanctuary to be safe. No matter what our racial heritage or gender or orientation, we are all simply people trying to make our way in the world. As a child I knew “olly olly oxen free” meant that nobody would try to tag me if I came out from hiding. I was also taught that the word “hate” was as bad as any swear and that it should not be said.

While my mother was teaching me the virtue of love, we were sending young men to kill foreigners in Vietnam. I grew up with no doubts as to which was the superior way. One way leads to life and peace, the other to constant fear and death. The people of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church have told Dylann Roof that they have forgiven him. They are offering sanctuary to one who has done nothing to earn or claim it. They, like children, lead us.