Faces in the crowd

Good morning, today is my birthday. I’m spending the weekend relaxing in the mountains, so on Friday evening I was talking with a friend and not watching any news. I woke to the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

As of now one hundred and twenty nine people are listed as dead, with another ninety nine of the three hundred fifty two wounded in “very serious condition.”

One hundred and twenty nine families will have an empty seat at the table. Lovers will lay down in empty beds, children will live their lives without a parent, parents will bury their children. One hundred twenty nine times over, for now, this time. The day before, forty three died and two hundred thirty nine were wounded in a suicide bomb attack in Beirut, one hundred forty seven were killed and seventy nine wounded in an attack on Garissa University in Kenya. Brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and friends lost forever.

Every face in the crowd is loved by someone, the eyes which once lit up when that face entered the room are now filled with tears.

On Saturday morning, my circles of friends checked to see if they were intact. Most were. Not all. I haven’t heard from Beirut yet, Baba had a way of knowing where his next restaurant should be blown up.

Luis Felipe Zschoche

Luis Felipe Zschoche

Luis Felipe was in Paris to complete an album with his band Captain Americano. He decided to catch the Eagles of Death Metal concert at Bataclan with his girlfriend. They are now faces in the crowd.

It is not a good day to be a Muslim.

I knew a woman who grew up in Germany during the second world war. She was a child, she did not know any Jews, she lived on a farm and knew there was a war going on. She had no idea about the holocaust taking place. Years later, in America, she was just another German, a NAZI, a Jew killer in the eyes of anyone who heard her heavy accent.

In America during the war we “interned” people of Japanese descent, American citizens were sent to what were essentially prisoner of war camps inside America.

As a society, I do not believe we have matured much since then. After the 11 September attacks anti-Muslim prejudices were so out of hand that Sikhs, who have nothing in common with Islam but happen to wear turbans (unlike actual Arabs or Muslims) were the target of hate crimes.

I do not expect people to be able to differentiate between peaceful Muslims and ISIS terrorists when they cannot tell a Sikh from a Muslim.

It is time to make some tough decisions, and in order to make intelligent decisions you must be armed with facts. Hear that well extremist friends. Be more intelligent than your adversary.

We are indeed at war, our my opponent is hate. So look deep inside yourself, which side are you on? It does not matter if you are Muslim or Christian; if your motivation to action is hate, you are on the same side, and you are not on my side of this battle.

My God tells me to love everyone. I return to Matthew 5:43-45; “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

If you choose to feed hate, it grows just like any other organism. One friend stated it quite well; “Let us not get polarized and divisive. Extremist organizations thrive and recruit from divisive societies. Let us not cast blame on an entire community because of the actions of a minority. People killing people are not fueled by differences of race or religion. Those are just the excuse for a deeper seeded evil fueled by extremism. So let’s not provide the soil on which those seeds of extremism can thrive and flourish.”

Do not mistake my intentions. The individuals who are responsible for the destruction of lives and families should be hunted down and eliminated like the cancer they are. Feeding that cancer by attacking innocents is counterproductive.

My time here on Earth nears its end, but my time with God has only begun. I will NOT spend eternity reconciling hate, that task is to be completed here. Besides, I hear they have a pretty good band in heaven, they just got another guitarist.

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13 comments on “Faces in the crowd

  1. Cindy Mullins says:

    Imprecatory Prayer (not just an evil wishing of injury) is given to us to be used in conditions such as we find ourselves this morning. Mourning for the lost and injured and maimed in evil attacks by a godless group. The imprecatory prayer is not made from a desire to harm others, but to have the Lord help stop their evil. I implore you to use this manner of petition in your prayers. Sadness fills me. But not fear. And not hate. Just a coldness.
    See The Expository Files – Imprecatory Prayer, and read Psalm 35 in the Old Testament.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kblakecash says:

      I do not believe the war between good and evil ends on Earth. This is the battlefield, I suspect it will never know peace. Our victory is as individuals, within our hearts; we will celebrate once we have left the battlefield.

      God is listening to our prayers, but I do not believe he intercedes in ways you might see as being direct. His love is offered, it is the “weapon” against our adversary, and we can use this love to strengthen ourselves and soften those who oppose us.

      Like

  2. Mike R says:

    Hate will be harvested by the bushel, I am afraid. Politicians and those in power will jump on the opportunity to stir it up for their hateful, violent ends, as well. Peace is not a common word in the current American vocabulary. But I am glad that you have made the call for it. I have also been encouraged by one man’s efforts at http://www.occupypeace.us, a noble effort to call us to a better way.

    I hold Western leaders partly accountable. The violence that has been perpetrated on the Middle East in the name of democracy, freedom, and human rights was sure to beget more violence. But there is money and power to harvest.

    I hope we will all pray that God’s Spirit will prevail over our hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mari Collier says:

    We are exhorted (those of us that go) to love each other every Sunday in church. Sinful man continues to hate and to destroy. I fear it will not end anytime soon. On a side note, during WWII, the government did start to put German people and those of German descent into concentration camps. The government stopped when they realized the German descendants where the most numerous group in the U. S. The majority of WWII American service men were of German descent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike R says:

    Blake, I forgot to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bartjeuh says:

    Islam is not the enemy. Religion is!

    Like

    • kblakecash says:

      Hate is the enemy. People looking to blame this on a religion rather than the empty souls of the murderers are the enablers.

      Like

    • Mike R says:

      When people wish to blame religion they are usually seeking to find a something to blame other than the evil heart of men. It wasn’t them. It was their upbringing. It’s poverty. It is their culture. It is the influence of religion. Anything to find a reason why men do evil things. Hate exists. It exists naturally in the heart of man. Men are prone to hate their neighbor and to hate God.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eileen says:

    Yes sadly, hate is the enemy. They are raised to hate those they know nothing about. Tragedy is these pure souls enjoying their lives never saw it coming. That could also be a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hate IS the enemy. We have to be smarter then hate, find another reason to stand our ground ( and never assess an entire people as unworthy) . How about we go with Resolve? Knowing that sometimes the Kingdom He gave us here is worth fighting for?

    Liked by 1 person

    • kblakecash says:

      I find peace in knowing this is not the Kingdom God gave us, we enter that kingdom when we leave this world. I fight to stay true to my peaceful beliefs in the face of attacks, keeping the evil of violence out of my heart.

      It is not easy. It is not the way I have always been.

      Like

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