Jun 16 2014
I live in a great part of Nashville. When I go to the Walmart by my house, it looks like the United Nations: Hispanics, Africans from numerous countries, Indians, Chinese, Arabic people. Many times I’m the only white person in there. It’s really cool.
Tonight I talked to a dude named Muhammad. His family is Kurdish (from the northern part of Iraq). He’s a normal dude here in the US, trying to make ends meet, and create a great life for his family. Muhammad and I talked about what’s happening in his home country.
If you don’t know, Iraq is quite possibly teetering on the edge of an all-out civil war that would play out between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. I’m talking about the possibility of real genocide. A faction of Sunnis (called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS) has taken over a couple key cities in Iraq in the last couple weeks. The Iraq military has largely disbanded and fled those cities. Just today, it’s being reported (though not confirmed) that ISIS has executed/murdered 1,700 Shia soldiers.
This isn’t the uplifting news you were looking for on a Monday, I know.
But it’s too heartbreaking to not write about it. Just like my friend Muhammad, there are millions of real people in Iraq who are living and breathing creations of God whose lives could be affected by this.
A SUPER DUPER BRIEF HISTORY
Throughout the Iraq War (lasting from 2003-2012), the most conservative estimates are that 100,000 Iraqis died. Some estimates go as high as 500,000. We had about 3,000 people die in 9/11. That means, AT A MINIMUM, Iraq endured 33 9/11s in those nine years. What a tragedy.
My spirit is sad right now.
The Iraqi people have endured so much for the last 30 years (dating back to the Iran-Iraq War that happened between 1980 and 1988 where somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 Iraqi soldiers died and 100,000 civilians died).
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
I don’t really know how to make peace in this situation but God does.
I feel the current pulling me down
Can’t keep the world from turning around
But I keep on turning to You
You’re the hope of a new sunrise
Breaking over our desperate lives.
I want you to pray with me. Right now. In Psalm 122, there’s a prayer for the city of Jerusalem and I want to pray this prayer for the country of Iraq.
Oh, God, please let your light shine in Iraq and keep the people there from destroying each other. Make them love! We pray this for the entire country of Iraq…
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels…
Peace be within you.”