i am not informed about the world news, or even the local news. i don’t own a television and i’ve never been one to follow the news. most of the news i hear is either from other people or from listening to NPR. however, i no longer have a car and folks rarely listen to talk radio when sitting in a car together. so really i’ve only been hearing the news from friends or overhearing it from strangers.
the thing is, i don’t really miss hearing the news. besides the occasional report of hurricanes so i know i can’t ride my bike for the week or hearing about justice issues, i don’t really want to know the news. usually it breaks my heart. i cannot count the number of times i’ve resulted in tears while listening to NPR in my car. i just can’t help it. i mean, if you really really think about it instead of just taking it in as input or the state of things, sometimes it can be horrific and sad. it’s not a matter of me feeling like the world is going to shit, or being scared by the state of things. the only right response seems to grieve; the incident, the deaths, the hate or tragedy or sense of hopelessness.
yesterday was one of those days. i listened while stuck in atlanta traffic as the reporter on NPR told of the recent massacre in the Syrian village of Tremseh. the details stuck out to me as follows: over 100 killed, civilians included. targeted fighting-age men. single houses on a block were shot through while others were left untouched. burned cars, motorcycles, houses, and a mosque. rooms full of blood where men were executed. sectarian killings. rebels vs. government or Sunni vs. Alawites?
from NPR story:
The commander of this base says regardless of what caused the attack, the killing of a few officers does not justify hunting 100 people down and executing them in their village.
Women and children were standing in front of their houses crying, as if they had just gotten back into town (from a Spanish photographer who was in town the day after the massacre).
If Khazzafi’s story is true, this would be the third major killing spree launched by pro-government Alawite militias in a Sunni village.
Still, they refuse to acknowledge that their very presence in these villages brings havoc on civilians.
this story didn’t bring tears, it brought outrage and an unsettled feeling. that people are living in such fearful conditions. that as a world of people we don’t learn from the mass killings that have occurred in the past century – the Holocaust, the genocides over religion and race in Rwanda and Sudan and South Africa, the child soldiers in Uganda and the DRC, displacement in Colombia and all over, the Caravan of Death and the disappearances in Chile under Pinochet, the Salvadoran Civil War, etc., etc.
why does this have to keep happening? why do people think they are even a little bit superior to another human being? entitlement and the superiority complex it carries.
And there will come a time,
you’ll see, with no more tears.
See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind…the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard no more. (Is 65:17, 19b)
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands. (Is. 55:12)
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Is 61:1-3)