This is part of a syndicated series for Lent 2019 with Harvard’s Christian Journal Ichthus. Visit Ichthus at http://www.harvardichthus.org
By Bradley Yam, Saybrook ’21. Bradley is majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics.
Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.
The elders of the daughter of Zion
sit on the ground in silence;
they have thrown dust on their heads
and put on sackcloth;
the young women of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads to the ground.
It is obvious that we must mourn something as horrific as the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. God hates the murder of the innocent, it is an offense against his image which exists and grants dignity to every human being, regardless of religion, nationality or politics. It is appropriate that we rend our hearts in common humanity and ask ourselves to sit in reverential silence at the smearing of something so sacred such as human life.
Yet we must not stop at mourning this one incident. It will be all too easy to get up tomorrow and continue unchanged with life as it is for us, because that atrocity happened too far away, or too long ago, to feel real to us after the media storm inevitably moves on to something else. What is an appropriate attitude to the global scale of tragedy we are now experiencing? How do we reconcile the fact that the connectivity that allows us to access these horrors and mourn for them, are also in part responsible for the spread of radicalization and violence, and was also a tool in the hands of a murderer to publicly broadcast his violence?
Let us hold off on the temptation to reach for a solution, or an easy answer, for I doubt that there is one. If we were to err, if I were to err, it would be on the side of missing the larger forces of evil and division at work in society, forces that daily inflict violence on the innocent. So let us mourn for these victims, and let us mourn for our common humanity. We are not just broken individuals, we are broken nations, broken peoples, and a broken world. Let us mourn, and pray for justice to come swiftly, not of our own making, but from a God who is able to heal us, as individuals, and altogether.