More thoughts on the Middle East...

It's been like living inside a blender these past days when it comes to news from the Middle East.

Everyone has learned to spin. Everyone has compelling video. Everyone has easy answers. How different things would be if munitions were as in short supply as truth in the Middle East.

And it all matters to people for whom I care, souls entrusted to me who are everywhere on the spectrum in these matters."But Father..." they say, "You have to understand..." Little by little I am.

I know that the divide between the white hats and the black hats is not as clear as thier apologists want me to think. Yes, Hezbollah builds hospitals but they have a lot more missiles than your average HMO. And even if they fired the first shot, as it were, of this latest round Israel has had a knack for violating the borders of countries for thier own purposes that can't be excused just by waving a picture of Dachau in the world's face.

I know enough to take every bit of official press with a healthy tablespoon of salt. Hezbollah has pictures of dead babies, sometimes the same baby passed from person to person and presented to the cameras. Israel has pictures of Hezbollah vehicles in the back yards of homes manned by soldiers without uniforms. They say cameras never lie but everyone knows photographers can and do and will. While the battles on the ground rage the battles in cyberspace and inthe press proceed apace. I only know that people are in pain, that death is happening, and pointing fingers at one side or the other means little if you're the one hit by a bomb or mangled by a rocket.

I know that this place, this Middle East, has been a place of war and struggle for millenia. If not Palestinian and Israeli, then Ottoman and British, or Crusader and Muslim, or Hebrew and Philistine, the list is as old as recorded time and I suspect a thousand years from now little will have changed because the people will remain the same.

I know there are people and nations who have no business sticking thier noses in other people's lives playing a larger and more deadly game through these miserable little conflicts. Deranged people, people with agendas, people with grudges so old they can even remember how they started, people with delusions of empire, and people who get off on death and dismemberment like junkies do heroin. A pox on them all.

And a part of me wishes that all these people so keen to kill, so desirous of remembering every last insult, could be sent to an island far away and allowed to do thier dark work with each other, winner take all, blood up to the stirrups, and gorge hell with the corpses. But that isn't how this is done because war and misery love company and so bystanders and people with no part in a matter still suffer and die.

So where am I in all of this?

The older I get the less I am enamored of the human desire to kill each other. It makes us less than the animals who at least kill to eat, it solves little, and has never brought lasting peace. End it in one place and war emerges in another; different faces, different causes, same spirit. I am weary of war, thiers, ours, and everywhere. I also grow weary of the part inside of me, a seed planted by power, to hate and make war. At times it burns within me and its very ugly to look at, even demonic. Eventually it must die, drowned in a sea of prayer or nailed to a cross.

So I hope for something different, a better way of life, a different kingdom, and choose the risk of being called a utopian. I choose to give for the care of the wounded whoever they are. I choose to work and pray for something better even if that vision is never realized in this life. And when people wish to take me under the swirl of thier own sea of mad passions I must choose to reach for the hand of the Master and find a way to walk on the waves and safely to shore.

And always I pray...

No comments: