He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.-Micah 6:8
What is justice?
This is a question I've been mulling over.
There is a woman at our church who traveled to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to interview Iraqi refugees. Often, since Iraqis are obviously not citizens of these countries, they often cannot find jobs. They cling to television sets that they once had in Iraq to prove to people visiting that they did not always live in such desperate poverty. They cannot feed their children, they cannot pay rent, but they fear that they will be murdered if they go back home. The woman came back to the US and wrote a play called No Place Called Home. My husband and I went to see her perform it and it was amazing. Through the stories she told us, the Iraqis often did not sound bitter at America for the war, but many of them were waiting for America to help them go back to the homes they had lost. And many just asked one question: "Why?"
She suggested checking out the Collateral Repair Project. The Collateral Repair Project helps Iraqi refugees with a number of things from helping pay utilities, rent and for food when they can't get funding from UNCHR (The UN Refugee Agency), coats for children, teaching women trades so that they can support their family, English classes in case the family is given refugee status and can move as well as a number of other things.
This person suggested liking the Collateral Repair Project on Facebook.
These children (above) were so hungry that they gobbled up the small bags of candy that were in the gift bags we gave them -- and then proceeded to eat the crayons and water colors that were also in the bags.
My heart broke when I read this. They ate paints because they were so hungry?
Some would say that our country is at war with theirs, that their countrymen has killed so many of our good sons and daughters. But should we punish these children for the sins of their fathers? Others would say, why should we feed and grow terrorists? Why should we care for those who will eventually kill us? But could changing their situation change the course of their lives and take away the reach of those extremists?
Do we have room for mercy in our justice? Is it justice for our when there are children who are suffering like this?
I find that I just keep bringing up more questions than answers. Maybe that's part of being human. I just know that no child should have to eat crayons to survive.
If you would like to visit the Collateral Repair Project, you can visit HERE.
If you would like to visit their blog (which has more information at the moment), you can visit HERE.
World Orphans is building a community center in Iraq. For more information, visit HERE.
If you would like to see No Place Called Home or learn more about the play, visit HERE.