Today's headlines remind us it is the 2nd anniversary of the I35W bridge collapsing in Minneapolis. That shocking image flashed on the local evening news within minutes of it's occurance. A news helicopter in the vicinity caught an aerial view that horrified us and sent almost everyone to the phone to call family members to make sure they weren't on that bridge. I did that. I called our adult kids and was reassured to hear their voices. The overload of cell phone calls jammed the system like it had in New York City when the twin towers came down.
One bridge collapses and many lives are forever altered. Thirteen people died but many others were seriously injured. Many have haunting memories if they were on that bridge even if they escaped.
If one bridge crashing down causes this much pain, can you imagine what it must be like when a population lives through a war? I got an email this morning labeled "cool toys". It contained photos of military planes, helicopters etc. Weapons of war we need to defend ourselves. Weapons of war that leave civilians on the receiving end with terrifying memories. I remember thinking that when video of our "Shock & Awe" bombing of Baghdad were telecast. How did the Iraqi mother huddling with her children feel about that. It was easy to watch our display of power from our living rooms and feel American pride. We were helping bring democracy to a country enslaved by a horrible dictator. I wonder how you reconcile all that with the example of Jesus telling Peter to put away his sword. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.
Today our church is ministering in the inner city. We linked with an urban ministry to take the gospel and food to give away to an area with a large muslim population. Maybe loving them is better than the other option. I never have cared for the turn the other cheek scriptures, but maybe this is what he meant. Love never fails.