Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Hotel Darfur

After watching the sad and gripping story of the people of Rwanda in the movie Hotel Rwanda, I read an article by NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof regarding the genocide in another part of Africa. I'm sure most have heard or read about the ethnic cleansing taking place in Darfur against non-Arab inhabitants. The killings by the Janjaweed militants has been evolving for 2 years now and is backed by the Sudanese government. Men, women and children are being brutally tortured, raped, castrated, burned, mutilated and executed for no reason other than their ethnicity.

If you click on the link to read Kristof's article, you must be warned. The images are not something that you'll see on the ESPN or in your southern homes and living. These images should bring unbelief and anger at the heart of any person. But what scares me is the passivity I myself carry and indifference I will show in the next day or so. I feel like I should ask for mercy, but do I deserve it? Do I deserve to ask for such a beautiful thing as grace when people are seeing their families butchered to death by heartless scavengers? Forgive me Father for I am a sinner.

If we are all interwoven on this canvas we call earth, shouldn't we be responsible for what is happening? I am reminded of Don Miller saying, "Maybe whats wrong with the world is whats standing in front of the mirror." Take time today or tomorrow or this weekend to write a letter to your government officials, both the House and Senate. I wrote a letter to Senator Frist and Senator Alexander in a somewhat hesitant and pessimistic fashion. These two links (here and here) might give you more knowledge about the events in Darfur and what they are needing at this time. 'Will writing a letter do any good,' I thought. 'Would they even read this letter, much less their office assistants?' I know full well that we cannot rely fully on our government to provide justice and equality of human life in foreign and domestic affairs, but it's a start. So what does this say about the church and its involvement with Darfur? Even though I'm pro-life, that must exceed beyond just babies that haven't been born yet. Pro-life should be holistically viewed and encompass the sanctity of human life all across this globe.

We should heed the warning left by former Senator Paul Simon, "If every member of the House and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about Rwanda, when the crisis was first developing, then I think the response would have been different." We can't claim ignorance on the genocide in Darfur any longer. May justice roll like a river through the dry graveyard of Darfur and may all drink of its fullness.