A few days ago my daughter saw a photo of bodies wrapped in white in Syria. I found myself trying to explain the atrocities and current American debate over how to respond. As I attempted to make complex, polarizing and politicized issues understandable to an inquisitive 9 year old I was challenged.
Why would someone just want to hurt other people they don't even know, Mommy?
How would bombing them and hurting people back solve the problem?
On the way to school this morning we had our annual conversation about the events of 9/11. For the first time, I could tell they were beginning to grasp why this day means so much for those of us who remember. And there were more questions.
Why did the bad guys hate America so much they were willing to kill themselves and so many other people?
One of my roles as mother is to thoughtfully respond to these complicated questions from young ones whose world view is being formed. I pray for wisdom to answer them with great compassion and honesty, without making them fearful. I wanted to use the opportunity to direct them to the Father.
And although the conversations start as a result of different circumstances, I keep finding myself coming back to the same bottom line:
Because sin is real, baby.
The hearts of men are either ruled by the Lord or ruled by themselves.
When the Lord is not in someone's heart, they will stop at nothing to satisfy their desires.
Anger eats them up.
Getting revenge becomes more important than people.
The advancement of power becomes more important than peace.
Our flesh leads us to a place where getting our own way overrules anything else.
After the children got out of the car I was still thinking and 9/11/01 and its implications on 9/11/2013. When you boil it down, this isn't just about terrorism or war. The destructive implications of sin are as true on the playground as on the world stage. The same basic struggle leads people to betray their spouses, manipulate to advance at work, lie on their taxes, cut each other's reputations to pieces through gossip.
I know most would argue the issues facing our world are far more complicated than this little housewife's reflection...but I'd argue that they all started with this root.
It's every man, woman and child's battle--and while I may not be able to solve world peace from my kitchen counter here in Georgia--I can certainly devote myself to loving my neighbor and reflecting salt & light in my every day life. I can pray hard against the sin that seeks to entangle the folks I love. I can ask to God to help me honestly see and tackle mine.
I have a feeling it will make more of an eternal difference than any march on the capital.