Suffering and survival in 2019
Today, a whole nation stopped what they were doing, and as a nation, at the same time, fell silent and motionless to observe the most horrific event in the history of mankind. More than 75 years after the horrors of that time, people of that nation, regardless of age, social class, gender or anything else, just stopped.
They stopped to remember.
They stopped to pray.
They stopped to honor those lost.
The loss of that time included more than 6 million of their people. Six million innocent lives taken by a black-hearted tyrant, for no other reason than for his determination that they were “lesser.”
Looking at the video footage from Israel today makes me wonder why.
It makes me wonder why and how that we Americans seem to have forgotten the dark days of our past. It seems to me that we have raised generations of young people who care little about our past, and those who were lost in it.
It seems to me that our history is now boiled down into little snippets. In fact, one of my children recently took a college history class that covered the entirety of the Civil War, in one week. So frantic she was to get through that week and that test, that I dare say she retained nothing of the history.
It also occurs to me that our young people know so little about the dark tragedy that happened on our own soil less than 20 years ago. I would like to walk through a high school and ask students, “What were the Twin Towers?” Or, “tell me about 9/11.”
The answers I know I would get make me sad.
Who is to blame?
What is the root cause?
I surmise that in trying to save our children from the horrors of life, running in and trying to “fix” every problem they face and trying to keep them from seeing the ugly truths of adult life, we ruined them, crippled them and did them a huge disservice.
One of my daughters, now married and 26 offers this theory. “ The ‘kids these days’ are inundated with disasters. Whether it’s because the world has gone to crap or just that we know about every single event because of the internet, we find out something devastating all the time. Whether it’s a shooting or a bombing or just a Facebook post about a puppy that needs a home, we are overwhelmed with negativity.”
She concludes, “If we seem apathetic, it’s just survival.”
How is it that we as a nation have come so far in forgetting what happened to those Twin Towers on that day in September less than 20 years ago, while the whole nation of Israel pauses to remember what happened more than 75 years ago?
I don’t know the answers to those questions, and you may have your suppositions, but you don’t know the answers either.
Have we become a nation of people so calloused by disaster and death that it just kind of numbs us to it when it happens? Two people lost their lives in another school shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Did you even know? Did you pause to pray or even care for those lives?
Today, I was humbled to be asked to join community leaders and pastors from around New Boston to pray at a National Day of Prayer ceremony downtown. It always bothers me that there is not a bigger crowd.
Yes, I know people have to work, people are busy, etc. But, what could be more important than praying for our community, our county, our country and our world?
Maybe the reason more do not turn out for this prayer service every year is the same as the reason we are so able to forget the horrors of the past. Perhaps we were numb to it. Maybe it is apathy. Maybe it is 2nd Timothy 3 come to pass. I really don’t know.
What I do know is the prayers that were said today have every possibility to come to pass. We can become a city, a county and a country where we all “love one another.”
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.