The prophet Micah penned some of the most famous verses in the bible. A church not far from here has them all over their building and stationary. A friend of mine has some of them inked onto his sizeable biceps, He has shown you, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humble with your God? (Micah 6:8). We have heard the call. We have mostly failed to march to its beat.
It’s November 11th, an emotional and reflective day.
Micah also wrote, Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Micah 4:3). He wrote that a very long time ago. Many years before my grandfathers donned uniforms and went off to fight the second “war to end all wars,” (it didn’t). Long before my father took up his post helping refugees gain access to Canada where they hope to grow old (mostly people whose countries have been victimized by those without an interest in peace). We still “learn war” and it’s a tragedy.
Of course, there are wrongs that must be stopped, and actions that require response. I have personally stepped in more than once to protect a person needing protection. Surely we can all admit that hard lines must from time to time be drawn. God is a God of justice and so he too knows that injustice must be brought to its knees.
Still, that doesn’t make it easy to witness the devastation.
War torn countries are home to destroyed natural elements and ecosystems that will take enormously long period of time to revive. They contain unwanted children without parents or grandparents or communities to care for them. They contain children who remind their mothers of the aggressor would did their violence and fled. They house folks whose minds are battered and the question now is one of survival, not recovery. The list could go on for pages.
Yes, sometimes hard lines need to be drawn, but that doesn’t make it easy to witness.
We are created in God’s very image and so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that we have compassion for one another, that we can fan the flame of mercy, for as Micah wrote, He delights in mercy (Micah 7:18).
When we look at the world and history of what we have done, we must call out with people form many times and many circumstances, Lord have mercy.
I don’t have all the answers.
I am less than a novice when it comes to war theory.
I want to be more merciful.
I want to be more compassionate.
Even as I want to be thankful and honouring of those who came before me.
Inasmuch as these characteristics are up to me and insofar as they begin in the home, I will endeavour to foster them, the plant them in my spouse and children, with my neighbours, friends, and fellow worshippers.
May God prosper this effort in my life and in yours.
They shall not grow old as we grow old, let’s make the most of our time.