This week I saw something that jarred me out of the complacent comfort of my safe little world.
Unless you’ve somehow found yourselves living in a cave over the past few months, you’re doubtless aware of the terrible conflict going on between Israel and Gaza, and the increasing threats from the radical Islamic world to destroy Israel. Casualties have occurred on both sides, as rockets jettison back and forth–one side in aggression; the other in self-defense.
(Be advised: Graphic) A few days ago, six men were pulled from a car in Gaza and summarily executed right there in the streets. Their crime? The terrorist organization Hamas claims they were spies for Israel.
Their bodies were piled one top of each other, while Palestinian civilians grappled for a place to stick their phones out and take a picture. As if this wasn’t gruesome enough, the murderers then decided to tie one of the bodies behind a motorcycle, and drag it through the streets of Gaza City. Laughing, cheering, and literally giddy with joy, the men dragged the body along like that of an trite animal.
As my jaw dropped I slowing come to terms with the fact that what I had just witnessed wasn’t a scene from a movie- it was real. And then mind drifted to the many places around the world where such violence and terror is commonplace; where people live in constant fear.
Right then, I wanted to kiss the ground I was standing on. My country may have its warts, and though it may be headed down a path that I fear will do only harm to it- I am still FREE in EVERY sense of the word.
Right now, I sit in front of my computer in my warm home, my stomach full with the breakfast I just ate, my TV on in the background, my door locked but really unnecessarily so, my wallet next to me-linked to a bank account that may not be massive, but it EXISTS. . . and I realize how incredibly blessed I am. I think about the people living in places like Israel who live in fear that terrorism will demand their lives. . . and then my thoughts turn to my morning’s biggest quandaries- which of my 37 shades of nail polish do I want to put on; which outfit of my jam-packed closet should I choose for a dinner where I will have access to more food than I could ever possibly eat. . . and do I have enough money to do all the Black Friday shopping I planned?
Don’t misunderstand- there’s nothing wrong with all the things I just mentioned. I know there are people who feel the need to criticize such blessings. Their rational is that after all, not EVERYONE has them. . .and why should some and not others. . . and so on. No. Instead, I am on my knees thanking my Heavenly Father for bestowing such blessings upon me. I am young, healthy, clothed, fed, and free. And with that, I can do much good for those less fortunate than me.
As that terrible video taught me, evil runs rampant in this. Kiddos- our freedom isn’t guaranteed- we must continue to defend it. But first, we must take a moment to thank God FOR IT.