It’s Always More Complicated Than It Seems

I’m not sure how to respond to the news of last night’s bombing in Syria after standing on that holy ground so recently.

On Monday, our delegation from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance met with the Governor of Homs.  Today Governor Barazi  is being interviewed about casualities.

It’s been interesting watching the news and comparing what’s said in U.S. media with what local church leaders shared with us last week or how the BBC reports stories in other parts of the world.  I’ve observed partial news, fake news, and sentimental news.  It’s hard to discern the whole story . . . except I do know that . . .

  • these are real people we have killed.
  • these are real people that others have killed.
  • we are all hypocrites.
  • everybody wants a piece of Syria (they have oil and natural gas)
  • we need to remember that human beings are indeed – always – children of God and they are never – ever – poison Skittles.

To ask us to pray for Syria seems shallow although that’s what I’m asking and that’s what my new Syrian friends are asking today.  And we might also consider how we – in our own lives and in our own congregations – might create Space for Hope wherever we are:  a place to gather safely  in the face of anxiety and trauma to create fun and conversation.  Who needs this in your neighborhood?

Images from the Evangelical Church in Homs on Monday.  “Space for Hope” is a program bringing Christian and Muslim youth together for sports and other programs.  I tried to explain March Madness to the basketball players but failed.  They’ve got other things going on.

2 responses to “It’s Always More Complicated Than It Seems

  1. Pauline Coffman

    Thank you, Jan. I hope you will report on more of your visit to Lebanon and Syria in the days ahead. The view of NESSL and our Christian friends in both of those countries have a much different view of what is happening. It is important that our church brings these views into the open so we can consider them as we read our daily newspapers and watch the news TV programs.


  2. This is my hope too, Pauline.


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