Tuesday, 15 December 2015
It is difficult times that we live in, with such easy access to media and with the world becoming such a smaller place, the ability to share tragedies that happen all over the world is so much easier than when I was growing up. I remember those first harrowing pictures from Ethiopia in 1984 when Bob Geldolf started his campaign to "Feed the World" but that was just the beginning.
Now we see pictures of dead children washed up on European holiday beaches, we see the aftermath of mass shootings, we see the wreckage left behind after drones have bombed areas supposedly hiding terrorists. Young girls who have been abducted to be sold on as slabes and brides smile from school photos plastered over the front pages of our newspapers. And that is before we read about bush fires, land slides, flooding etc etc.
So what to say to our childen. Do we explain what is happening in our world or do we attempt to keep it away from them?
Child 3 asked me where God was on the 13 November when the world was shouting about the Paris tragedies . Our Twitter feeds and Facebook feeds were full of comments and photographs. The news on radio an TV were describing, often graphically what had happened. And my 9 year old just could not understand why someone would want to hurt people out having a good time. Why did God not just stop it. This led onto so many more questions. Questions that I couldn't always answer as I sometimes ask where God is, has he washed his hands of us?
I guess that the story of Adam and Eve was where he gave humanity the power of choice, we choose how we behave and of course that means that we live with the consequences of those choices.
So I have taken to telling my children to look for God in those that help. The Muslim police man Ahmed who tried to help those attcked at Charlie Hebdo, the people helping the refugees in Greece, Hungary and Calais. The paramedics, the doctors and nurses, the teachers, the everyday person that gives money to UNICEF or children in Need. Those of us that buy goats and chickens from Oxfam instead of Christmas cards. The unassuming person on the Street who just steps in to help because they were there.
A simple small act of kindness goes a long way.
Blessed are the Peacemakers.