Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Armed Conflict, Human Suffering and God's Kingdom...

Just today, I took another look at the human suffering around the world due to armed conflict. All of it is man made. Some would call the human suffering "collateral damage" - an unfortunate by product of war.

We just celebrated Memorial Day here in the USA where we remember and are grateful for those who have fought and given so much for our freedom and freedoms. It is almost hard to imagine that there are other places not so fortunate.

I am this week reviewing projects - disaster responses - to the "collateral damages" due to wars. Men, women, children - whole communities, whole sections of countries - caught up and, in many cases, victims of a conflict they had nothing to do with. They do now.

* Floods of Syrian refugees are looking for any place to escape the fighting and gain safety for their families. We have three on-going projects and two more proposed to help feed, shelter and give water to these coming out of their country to what they see as safer areas. Many walking away from their communities and homes with only what they can carry.

* A multitude of people are pouring in to the north part of the world's newest country, Southern Sudan. They are fleeing armed conflict only to find it following them as they arrive. We are targeting these areas with food and water projects but in reality are only able to make a small dent in the overall need.

* Refugees along the various borders of Myanmar (Burma) have left everything due to armed attacks on their communities. Several of our partners are trying to find ways to help these makeshift exiled communities especially with water and food.

I grow weary looking at these and new convicts every day. I am in no way as weary as those experiencing the conflicts. I, however, do often question if this is the way that it is meant to be and can only conclude that it is not.

Armed conflict can result for a number of reasons. Some reasons are good and noble while some are evil and even cruel. In the end, people suffer and the tragedy is that the brunt of the suffering is usually born by the bystanders, not the participants or the ones who started the conflict.

My consolation as I wade through and try to make sense of all these urgent needs (due to armed conflict) is that we come from a place that there is no armed conflict and we are going to a place where wars will cease, arms will be laid down and even the lion and lamb will live together in peace. I have to remind myself that what we see in terms of this age and suffering is a result of sin and the fall of man. Before, in the Garden, there was no war and resulting suffering. In the end, at the consummation of the ages, there will again be no war.

And when I look at the war and suffering happening throughout the world today, knowing that it will get worse before it will get better, all I can say is..."Yea, come Lord Jesus! May it be soon!"


1 comment:

  1. Whenever I read about "collateral damage" in relation to armed conflict anywhere in the world .. I think of it in terms of "primary damage". I cringe every time I hear a geo-strategic pundit proclaim that civilization is advancing .. when what I see is more and more innocents caught in the crossfire while the powerful wring their hands and make excuses for inaction.

    It's clear that Syria is hurtling towards all-out civil war at an alarming pace with potentially devastating consequences. I fear that the death and destruction thus far is but a foretaste of something larger and more sinister looming on the horizon. Prayers are urgently needed .. action is urgently needed .. hands and feet in representation of Jesus Christ are urgently needed ...