Aylan Kurdi, 3 year old Syrian refugee, washed ashore in Turkey after his family’s boat capsized.
Some things I am thinking about in regards to this:
- Most people do not have the training and experience to make a difference in this situation. I do. That makes me mad. All of the time an energy I have spent training, all of the money the government has poured into me, and I am sitting here doing nothing. If there was a National Guard mission to go fight ISIS I would consider it. If there was a mission to provide Humanitarian Assistance, I would volunteer for it.
- That isn’t the half of it, though. I am just one man. There are literally tens of thousands of other men trained to the same level, representing billions of dollars invested in soldiers. The government owns carriers, helicopters, hospital plains, transport boats, hundreds of billion dollars worth of assets that could make a difference.
- For myself, my place is not over there, at least right now. My place is with my wife and family. But God willing someday I will go, either to Syria or somewhere else, whether to fight bad men or provide medical care for the innocent or to die a martyr makes little difference. From him to whom much has been given, much will be required.
- This picture is causing a groundswell of indignation, as well it should. Hopefully it causes some action. However, from my experiences and my reading, I am only too aware that this sort of thing is not new. It happens every day. We are outraged once a month or so by the Horror of the Century For This Week, and vent our feelings on social media for a few minutes, before going back to whatever useless entertainment was interrupted to bring us this message. The truth is this happens every day, in dozens of countries around the world. The strong prey on the weak, the women and children and poor suffer and die. Iraq, Syria, Cambodia, Laos, Nigeria… the list goes on and on.
- Children and women and men are trafficked for labor and sex in every “First World” country, including our own, every day. Unless someone reminds us we forget. We forget because we want to forget. We don’t want to bear the burden of being aware all the time, of perhaps being forced to take action where action is needed. We wouldn’t want to have to protect the widow and the orphan in real life, up close and personal where I can smell them and they can break my heart.
So, what can we do?
I will do tomorrow what I do every Friday, fast and pray for Mercy. Only tomorrow I will fast until 3:00 P. M., the Hour of Mercy and complete the fast with a Chaplet of Divine Mercy. If you are reading this I invite you to join me however you can. I will continue to pray, continue to train, continue to love my family and bring up my children as best I can. I will look for ways to serve the poor, the widow and the orphan in my own backyard.
What else can I do?