Nothing makes such horrible loss any less horrible.
And so, I’ve found myself struggling with how to put it in context for my kids.
Not too long ago, a pastor acquaintance at an urban church posted this link to a proposed cease-fire in Burma which would end 60 years of conflict. To North Americans, this is irrelevant. Just another foreign turf war, and after all, there are so many. But for that pastor and his congregation, this was deeply emotional news. Eighty percent of his congregation are refugees, the majority of them Burmese. They have seen their neighbors and loved ones shot. They have lost, and lost, and lost. When asked if they would like to send their children to summer camp, their response was, “Will I ever see my children again?” Because to them, the word “camp” means refugee camp. It means permanent dislocation.
They are people of war and grief and loss. And they are not farther from God and goodness than we are.
But where we live, it’s easy to mistake the relative peace in our lives for relative goodness in ourselves and those around us. We tell ourselves we’re the ones who go out to solve the rest of the world’s problems, because, look at our peace and prosperity. It shocks us when our sense of goodness and order is violated by the brute facts of human nature: This is not a good world.
Nothing makes such horrible loss any less horrible. Nothing.