Monday, September 12, 2016

Have I?

Half my lifetime ago, history happened. Rather than write my personal story of that day, I think it's more important to ask some challenging questions:

If I call myself a follower of Jesus, the same Jesus who says "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," have I truly lived that? Have I prayed for the hijackers who, 15 years ago, following the rhetoric of men who had twisted the peaceful message of Islam for their own destructive means, also lost their lives alongside their victims? Have I prayed for their families who, whether they perceive their loved ones joyfully as martyrs or mournfully as victims, have in both cases still lost someone they loved? Have I prayed for the thousands of victims who have died in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world as a result of my own country's acts of terroristic violence, air raids, invasions? Have I prayed for the leaders, followers, and families of ISIS? Have I written to my legislature asking for saner foreign policies that don't involve dropping bombs, which inevitably kill civilians, therefore inciting more fires of radicalism? Have I reached out to the Muslims in my local community to say, "you are welcome here. You, and Islam, are not my enemy"? Have I in fact done anything to help promote peace, understanding, camaraderie?

This is what's on my mind today.

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