I clicked on the video link: “Iraqi Christians Persecuted”. As the three-minute tragic story ends, a legitimate tear appears in my eye. I think, “so sad”, but don’t even utter those words aloud, as I slowly shake my head.
And then I clicked another link. I opted for a 2:14 feel-good video.
That really happened.
I have gotten into the habit of watching one or two or, if time permits, three short videos a day. It has become part of my personal entertainment grid that I have added to checking email, Instagram, Facebook and, well, whatever.
Until God. Until God put this article in front of me last night after I played with my Pinterest and before I clicked on my Kindle app.
It was short, well written and even had the accompanying 3:55 audio to keep my brain in focus.
One line punched me in the face: Not mincing any words, the author called the world’s indifference to ISIS’ mass execution of Christians “obscene.”
It insulted me, calling out MY obvious indifference. IT called ME obscene. No, it screamed to me: YOU ARE OBSCENE.
I have never had one of my links condemn me.
The article was the last thing on my mind last night as I toss and turned and finally, and comfortably, fell asleep. Then, it was the first thing on my mind this morning.
So, this morning, I re-read the article. And re-read it again. And then, once again.
I am one of the many that has buried my head in the sand under the guise of “but what can I do about it?”
I believed the blatant lie that “I am help-less.”
But am I?
I had read and heard the word ISIS MANY times recently. But, I confess that I haven’t known (nor did I care enough to find out) what that acronym stands for. I had surmised that ISIS is the BAD GUYS.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not a loose coalition of jihadist groups, but a real military force that has managed to take over much of Iraq with a successful business model that rivals its coldblooded spearhead of death. It uses money from banks and gold shops it has captured, along with control of oil resources and old-fashioned extortion, to finance its killing machine, making it perhaps the wealthiest Islamist terrorist group in the world. But where it truly excels is in its carnage, rivaling the death orgies of the Middle Ages. It has ruthlessly targeted Shiites, Kurds and Christians.
“They actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick” a Chaldean-American businessman named Mark Arabo told CNN, describing a scene in a Mosul park. “More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”
I also learned that this is taking place in NINEVAH….yeah, remember when Jonah preached and the people repented and turned to God? Yeah, it’s their great, great, great, (etc) grandchildren. Their families are the ones that are being raped, beheaded and massacred. Their descendants are being driven from the very place that Jonah preached THOUSANDS of years ago.
This is not a one time, isolated event. It is going on while I am checking Facebook and pinning on Pinterest. I have attempted to imagine that kind of fear–that type of aggression–in my town, my neighborhood, my street. What would it look like for them to drive their jeep into my driveway…? Our American borders mean nothing to them. I know this now–I am, finally, becoming informed.
We are part of their several-thousand-year-old-plan. When I say “we”, I mean those of us that won’t renounce our Christian or Jewish faith…well, basically any faith that is not theirs.
This isn’t a trend. This is not a Youtube video that stops when the 3:55 is over.
My indifference has been obscene.
Truly, all (ok, most) of us WANT to DO SOMETHING. That has been proven by the recent ALS challenge. We are ready and willing to pour a cold bucket of water over our heads, post the video AND even write the check. We are also eager….
I have four suggestions, not necessarily in this order:
1. Think. What do I have at my fingertips? Where is my influence?
When I lived in Montgomery, I had a LOT of influence, but now that I live in Georgia, I have almost nill. But when I THOUGHT ABOUT IT, I realized that I blog. As a fairly new blogger, I have 72 subscribers, and if only 25% of those read it, than I have influenced a handful of people to possibly not be obscene! That is progress.
Who do you influence even in small, seemingly insignificant ways?
2. Ask God. Yes, ask God what YOU can do. He speaks to those that have ears to hear: i.e., Jonah.
So take time, a real purposed block of time, to Google a few things, like the phrase: Arabic N (It is the symbol/letter on this kid’s shirt to the right. You will be astounded.)
Then, Google ISIS. Google Persecuted Iraqi Christians. This is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for the obscene.
Also, watch the videos–they are horrible but watch them anyway.
Then, think again. And ask God again what your role is in this.
4. Become less obscene. It really is a choice.