We will all have been horrified by the events of this week as we listened to and watched the news stories of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Even more so probably as we have witnessed the ongoing distressing scenes of men and women searching for signs of life in the ruins and devastation of their homes and towns across the fault line. A father looking for his children and his wife, a mother mourning her elderly parent. A child freed from the rubble now very probably orphaned. Families devastated by their loss of loved ones and their new plight of homelessness in freezing temperatures and horrifically life-threatening conditions.
Like me perhaps, you look on with incredulity at yet another humanitarian disaster and yet another plea for aid from the international community. Like me perhaps you wonder .. Really Lord? All this suffering .. Again .. more? Haven’t these people, particularly those across the border into Syria already been through enough? And not just this situation but the war in Ukraine and the increasing famine in Ethiopia, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan. How do we reconcile our own comparative comfort and ease of living against the suffering of so many in our world?
Of course, this is not a question for discussion or much more reflection here but as I have thought about the events of this week… I am reminded of the Sermon on the mount where Jesus in the context of Roman domination and much poverty, injustice and suffering, said these words to his followers.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all sorts of insults against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven …
And so, we don’t have answers but we do have the assurance of a ‘God perspective’ which gives us ultimate HOPE and as followers of God let’s be praying for those who are suffering and mourning or being persecuted in the different situations known to us, whether closer or further from home… for His MERCY and His BLESSING.