Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Shape of Evil Redux

Three years ago, I sat at my dining room table after having put the Chickadees to bed.  My husband had gone from the birthday party we held for Chickadee #2 straight to the airport, where he left for a week-long business trip to an exotic locale.  All day, I had been avoiding thinking about September 11th, 2001.  All day, I'd smiled and laughed and joined in the general celebration of our younger daughter.

I was exhausted and sad that my husband would be away, stressed out as only an introvert who has hosted a party can be.  I made the mistake of turning on the television after the chickadees were asleep.  This post was the result.

Today, I feel more than ever that perfect love drives out all fear.

I feel more strongly than ever that hatred is a dead end.

As I, with my countrymen, contemplate yet another campaign in this seemingly endless war against evil, I believe more than ever in the particularity of human experience and the importance of honoring that individuality.

People are not symbols.
People are not pawns to be moved on a geopolitical chessboard.
People are not expendable
or collateral damage
or civilians
or citizens
or "the people"
or Americans
or Syrians
or "the children"
or any other collective noun which inevitably becomes an abstraction.

They are individuals.
Each one has a story.
Each one has a family.
Each one is irretrievably lost to us...

but none is lost to God.    
They are in his heart.
They ARE his heart.

Rest in Peace.

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