Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ephphatha!

Obviously I should stop watching the news and reading the news sites. There's absolutely nothing I can do to influence the ever-escalating crisis between Israel and Hezbollah and reduce the number of people who are dying. OK, I sent an email to the White House asking the President to use his influence to bring about an immediate ceasefire. Maybe he'll read it when he gets back from St. Petersburg. Maybe one of his aides will read it and put a tick mark in the anti-Israel column. And they'll be wrong. And the fighting will continue.

Still, I feel compelled to keep up with the developments (now there's a misnomer!) and to note the mounting the body count. I think it has something to do with being an INFP. You know, the Myers-Briggs personality type. As a member of our staff development team said once, we INFP types wake up every morning worrying about what we can do to save the world. To which one of my colleagues quipped, "Yes, but every morning?????"

Well, it's not about me. This blog is, of course. Regardless what I write about, it's sure to say more about me than about the stated subject. But the deaths, the ones who mourn lost loved ones, the war-without-end, all that isn't about me.

I read commentaries too. Lots of them. One of the most poignant I read today was by Chris Hedges, former New York Times war correspondent and Middle East bureau chief and author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. In the piece "Mutually Assured Destruction," he says that the only language the warring parties only seem to know how to speak is the language of violence. They need to learn another language if this maddness is ever going to end:

...unless those fueling these conflicts learn to speak another language, unless they break free from an indulgence in collective necrophilia, the Middle East will slip into a death spiral.

So tonight, before taking a break from the news to get some sleep ...in a quiet neighborhood where I won't be awakened by the whistle of rockets or feel the ground shake as they hit, I pray --sighing--ephphatha!


Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!"). Mk 7: 31-34

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