Before you read this post, you MUST go and read THIS POST from my friend Tara. I am not kidding. The rest of the post won’t make sense unless you read hers.
When I first read Tara’s post a few days ago, I snickered. It was cute and Noah is funny. I don’t know Noah well, but I could imagine him dramatically making such a statement and it made me smile.
Days later, I am haunted by that post and I can’t stop thinking about Noah’s statement.
“It is very hard to love people you've never met.”
Our world is swirling with fear and animosity and hatred these days. Our home country is outraged at the things that are going on in the country in which we live and vice versa. Tension continues to mount, fears swell like balloons and rumors are launched from every direction. The media has a hayday and marches on with its brainwashing mantra…corrupting anyone who will listen.
Real voices and real lives on both sides are drowned out by the clash.
The people we know and love are increasingly hateful and fearful towards the people we know and love
...and it breaks our hearts.
I feel like a broken record these days and know it will only get worse in a month when we get back to the States.
These days we say a lot of:
“We have seen the news, we know what our people did to your people. We don’t agree with it and aren’t a part of it.”
“We have seen the news, we know what your people did to our people and we don’t agree with it.”
“Yes, there is unrest here and people are upset…with good reason. Hopefully it will calm down.”
“Yes, people are upset there…with good reason. Hopefully they will calm down.”
“No not all of the people in our country hate you and are that insensitive.”
“No, not all of the people in this country want to kill you or make your lives miserable.”
“People in my country are good people, for the most part…there are just some bad ones thrown in that make things seem really bad.”
“People in this country here are good people, for the most part…there are just some bad ones thrown in that make things seem really bad.”
Okay, you get the idea. Before you think I have gone crazy, or just not edited this post, I will reassure you that I meant to write what I did; the same thing…from two different sides.
It really comes back to smart little Noah’s statement,
it is really hard to love people you don’t know.
Let’s be honest, this place is ugly and violent and scary. But it is also good and beautiful and holds a lot of potential.
Let’s also be honest: America is ugly and violent and scary. But it is also good and beautiful and holds a lot of potential.
The kicker is people don’t know one another. What do you REALLY know about people from this country (or the Muslim world as a whole) that hasn’t been fed to you by the Media Machine? I am guessing not a whole lot. The same goes for people here. They learn through the Tube (and media as a whole), just like people have become accustomed to doing all over the world. The problem is: what is shown by the media is one (very skewed and slanted) side of the story. Sorry, but FOX News does not know all…and people don’t know all by watching it.
It just grieves me that there is so much hatred and ugliness on both sides…against people not even KNOWN by those launching it.
I realize that it is not possible for every person in America (or other countries outside this one) to come here and experience life and it’s people. Not everyone can interact with kAkA and the rest of our friends. All of the kids in the world can’t come and mooch food off of the cook every day and naan from the guard every night like Little t has become so skilled at doing. It isn’t possible…
But I wish with all my heart that it was so that people could KNOW one another. So that barriers and walls of fear and misunderstanding could be torn down.
So that flesh would see flesh instead of seeing fear.
I guess I can sum it up by saying, I am grieved by the fear and misunderstanding that is so thick these days. Honestly, this is the main reason I am not ready to skip back to the States just yet (that and it being an election year…). I dread the nasty comments, the condemnation, the disgust and fear…all from people I know and love, against people I know and love.
Please pr.ay for grace and peace for us in these days as we navigate these very turbulent waters…that affect us very personally on both sides. We want to be salt and light on both sides. We want to help people KNOW each other. We long to do what we can to dissolve some of the fear and break down some of the barriers. We need Je.sus SO desperately to do that through us. If I am honest, right now, I would rather go sit on a beach on an island somewhere than go home to hear how crazy or stupid we are for doing what we do, etc. So please pr.ay for us.