The wedding photo, a water damaged copy mounted in gold gilt plastic and plate glass was hanging from a strand of string in an unlit cement block room measuring about 15 square feet. I spent an hour with the family of 6 who have lived, slept, and cooked their sparse food in this small room for nearly two years. This is the one possession they managed to take with them when they ran from their home.
Their kids aren’t in school. They don’t have adequate water, electricity, or plumbing. The unfinished buildings a businessman allows them to live in also house 180 more families who fled Sinjar at the same time. Another village destroyed by ISIS.
Poverty is one thing. This is another. I find myself thinking again of a quote by Ellie Weisel who said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” But what to do when you are neither indifferent or hateful, but lack the power to fix the problem? What do you do when the good you are capable of costs money and emotional fortitude but there’s not enough of that around?
The picture. The people. The place. Try to imagine it. Imagine that it is your wedding picture and this living hell has suddenly become your living hell. Then ask with me how to:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12