Pointing fingers – Drawing lines

War crimes.

There is repetition in that label.

Who is it that decides which bombing or attack is a crime and which is just part of regular war. How can the killing of one group of people be any less of a criminal act than the killing of another group of people? The devastation of a town, a building, a part of human history – in the name of prosperity? Whose prosperity is so much more important than the history and lives lost?  Who decides?

I taught the K/1 class yesterday at church.  We talked about God’s command to Adam and Eve and by extension to us – to take care of the world in which we live – building on the already beautiful – cultivating and keeping God’s creation beautiful – attending to it’s flourishing. 5 and 6 year-olds scribbled small, semi-legible statements – plans regarding how they would take care of this world.  They will recycle, feed their dogs and cats, water their gardens, pick up the toys in their rooms, pick up the garbage at the park. These little people understand that they need to take care of the things that surround them so that those things will continue to surround them.  They need to take care of their animals so the animals will survive – the plants so they will bear fruits and vegetables or flowers – they need to pick up their toys so they continue to have nice things to play with.  Even without a biblical reference – even if that is not a belief you hold – doesn’t it make sense to take care of this world – to attempt to make the good things last and create a space in which new generations can continue to thrive and create?  To enjoy the world for it’s beauty?  To enjoy creation – people included – because we all share the most basic needs?  Because we share this place.
Perfectly ridiculous is the dichotomy of my lesson and response from the kiddos and the actions of grown, leading adults unable or unwilling to attend to the beautification and flourishing of the world.  Instead we destroy.  We pit ourselves against one other in separated,  -segregated – communities based on location, religion, ethnicity, skin color, sexuality, gender, socio-economic status, and any other combination of various human traits inherited or decided by people in power who want to stay in power.

I generally do not listen to current event based news.  I don’t handle it well.

The news makes me feel absolutely disgusted with mankind while simultaneously making me feel sick with the absolute helplessness I feel when I think about any effect I might have on changing the way these big things are broken.  I cannot change that various powerful countries are bombing places that they do not live, people they do not know, and then claiming that these are necessary acts on a road to assisting these smaller, less powerful countries obtain freedom and a democratic government.  How can the more powerful countries assist in a movement toward freedom by a display fatal forces? How can a country whose democracy is so broken that the peoples voices are stifled by party lines and worn out issues that should not have even become political points of contention?  When a chief justice is ridiculed for voting according to the population he serves rather than the party…. and the people sitting at home to stare at a device that will tell them what to believe, how to think – or more importantly: NOT think – because a post on social media doesn’t count as a vote people.  And the votes we do cast don’t seem to be heard or read.  And really – when it comes down to it – the options are limited – we are voting on issues that are decided by the people at the top of the hierarchy who are being paid by the people who own the biggest businesses – people who make up the smallest population of a powerful country.  Protecting the only thing they know – power.

My cynical self hungers for a ballot option which overthrows capitalism; which overthrows power and hierarchy; an equality of people being brought to recognize each other as fellow cohabitants of a world meant to be enjoyed – of a life meant to be shared and celebrated. My cynical self sees this failing just as badly and so I have to refocus.  No more morning news. Awareness of current events is important, however, I need to focus on what I can change.  I can change my own contribution to creative flourishing.  Back to picking up garbage and feeding the animals in my backyard.  Back to enjoying cartwheels on the brown grass and saving water from the shower to water the trees.  Back to baking bread and enjoying the process.  Knitting each stitch with purpose and reading each word for the fullness of meaning.  Loving and caring for each person put in my path and creating space for them to be themselves – not something I’d rather they be – not something I’m more comfortable with – a refocus and a recognition that while I am an important part of this life – it’s not about me – it’s about all of us in a great big world – enjoying the sunrises and sunsets – and perhaps the occasional lightning storm – wondering at the vastness of the sky and the questions unanswered in sea and space.  Enjoying the creative process that is life and attempting to at very least appreciate each moment – working toward loving them all.


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