It was towards the end of May when she told me. And the moment she did, I wished she hadn't. Her words rung in the air and unwelcomed images filled my mind. I looked to my distraught friend as a number of questions in my head demanded answers. Where could I start? She had just announced the fact that her Auntie and her five children had gone missing in Syria. No body knew where they were. They had taken a taxi and the taxi had just disappeared. They never made it home. My friend tried to keep a bold face as she told us. She tried to not meet any of our eyes. She played with the wrist of her long sleeve. In my head I thought "it'll be okay, no big deal. Probably a false alarm" and I think I made myself believe it. The sympathy and compassion that had washed over me slowly dissipated as moments later, I had to say goodbye to my friend and head for classes. It was probably nothing to worry about. She probably made it sound worse than it was, out of worry. What were her family still doing in Syria anyway? Why would anyone want to stay there and put their lives in danger? The questions asked themselves. But somehow, I managed to shrug it all off.
About two hours later, my heart caught in my throat as I read a message my Syrian friend sent me during class. Her Auntie and her five children were found dead. I read it quickly a first time and put my phone away. I was in class, right? I didn't have to think about something like that. Why was she sending me such a message when she knew I was in class? It wasn't fair, I didn't want to think about it. She should've been sensitive about how it would make me feel! I picked up the message again and could not ignore the reality of the horrid words. What do I tell her? What could I possibly say? I sent a compassionate message in reply.
When I got home that day, guilt washed over me as I recounted the event to my big Sis. I suddenly realized how selfish I was. Could I have been anymore selfish? The thoughts that had crossed my mind when I received that message horrified me. Was I only concerned about myself and my immediate surroundings? I sent several messages to that friend. I didn't hear from her in days until she finally announced she was alright.
As you are reading this, I trust that you are safe. That you have food on the table, a roof over your head and a hope for tomorrow. But at the same time, as you are reading this, the blood of ordinary everyday people is being shed in a country far away from yours - but it is happening still. It is reality. I am such that hates hearing and listening to certain things on the news. It's not my country. I do not live there. My close friends and family don't live there. Therefore, I will pretend it's not happening. Concentrate on my here. Everything is alright over here. Therefore, everything should be okay over there. Besides, the news exaggerate right? And with a quick unconscious decision, I wave it off as if ridding my mind of a bad thought.
I admit, I do it. But I am sure I am not the only one guilty of this.
We are not oblivious to what is going on in Syria and the events that have taken place in the middle east over the past year. We cannot ignore it. I cannot ignore it any longer. It is an avid example of this world's cruelty. Yes, cruelty. We live in an evil world.
We, as Christians have a part to play! You - yes, you! - from your home on the other side of the world you have a role to play. It lies in the power of prayer! There is power in prayer and we are called to pray for this world!
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place." 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 KJV.
Yes, we are called to pray for the world! Let us humble ourselves and pray for Syria and every other war-zone in the world. ¨
I am consecrating this Friday (August third) to pray for Syria and every other war affected area in the world. Prayer is key!
Will you join me? All you have to do is especially remember Syria (and other war-zone) in your prayers on that day.
Let me know if you will reach out to Syria on Friday! May the Lord bless us and may He bless our land