Why I Hate the Images from Kabul and Syria to Boston.

When is it coming to get me?

When is breast cancer coming for me?
When is someone coming to shoot up my son’s elementary school?
When is a tornado ripping my house from root to roof?
When is a bomb blowing up the next race I’m training for?

It has hit home for me, yes.  But I’m keenly aware that people all over the world are bombarded with these when-am-I-next questions every. single. day.

I hate the image above.  And I hate the ‘To Boston from Kabul with Love’ image too. I hate them because of how ashamed they make me feel at my complete indifference to their vulnerability.  I hate the images because we haven’t sent them back. I hate that we’ve never sent a “From America with Love to Kabul!”

As an African-American I’ve lived with a greater sense of vulnerability for me & my black brothers.  And then I’ve watched some die.  Their vulnerability was not a ploy to misuse government funds.  As disconnected as they were from the surrounding white suburbs they were still every bit as vulnerable even when mistrusted & ignored.  There are gay kids living with this when-am-I-next type of vulnerability.  There are little girls everywhere living with when-am-I-next to be raped?  These realities exist whether we turn a blind eye or not.

As much as I hate the evil and mourn with the victims of the latest atrocities I believe this is a golden opportunity for us Average Joe Americans (and other 1st world citizens) to stand in solidarity not only with places like Syria but also with those who feel perpetually vulnerable in our own country day after day after day.

Growing up a poor kid in the inner city, I’ve felt that vulnerability.  I’ve seen what living as a perpetually vulnerable person or family does.  It’s destructive.  It’s ugly.  It’s hopeless.  I’ve also wrestled those gutted transactions between those who don’t believe in the vulnerability of others who show impatience and disgust.  Distrust of your words and motives and actual needs.

How can we extend greater grace & mercy to people who feel perpetually vulnerable?

Can we harness our current pain to invest in our world’s most vulnerable?

Can we use these horrible events as a catalyst to get off our lazy behinds and help the vulnerable within our immediate vicinity?

Can we pray for Boston and follow it with a prayer for Syria?

Can we stick “God Bless the World” stickers on our bumpers instead of “God Bless America?”

Can we pray for Waco, Texas and follow it with a prayer for all the unemployed & homeless in Detroit, Michigan?

Can we pray for God’s peace and grace to rest heavily on Afghanistan?  On Chechnya?

Can we extend more patience to those on food stamps?

Can we give more grace to people you typically don’t trust for one reason or another?

These tragedies are giving us sheltered Americans & 1st world countries a mutual experience by which to understand more deeply fellow human beings all over the world.

May we steward it well.

And to my brothers & sisters in Syria & Kabul I have a message for you:

Join me & my children this morning in praying for Shalom on earth.

****

 

  • sharazad

    Dear @Grace Biskie thank you very much for this heartfelt article, you actually made me cry..as an Arab women living in Europe I have been equally mortified by what happened in Boston ..it’s truly shameful and I’ve been praying for everyone in Boston to be safe and I have faith that the world is full of people like yourself who would realise that these monsters represent themselves only not a whole race or a religion. I always like to say to everyone judge me by my actions not what you hear or see on t.v, God bless you , your lovely children and the world <3

    • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com Grace Biskie

      Thank you for letting me know & I’m so thankful it was meaningful for you! Thank you for your prayers for Boston! God bless you richly as well.

  • http://Wholereason.com Dgsinclair

    What i see are the worldwide victims of islam (esp. Women and children) sharing their sorrow w us

    • ashley

      wow, the point of this lovely and well written message went right over your head huh? What a shame.. critical thinking is not your best attribute.

  • http://www.estheremery.com Esther

    Oh, yes, Grace! This is a wise call to vulnerability and compassion.

    • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com Grace Biskie

      Thank you, Esther. I pray some will rise up to that call!

  • rabiah

    Thank you for such wise words, I guess it is easier for us to try to live in ignorance than except reality.

    • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com Grace Biskie

      Rabiah, true. The road less traveled is always the harder one & the better one.

  • mongupp

    beautifully worded and so true.

  • Catie Wollard

    These are wonderful, wonderful questions. It feels like sometimes the answers are so far far away, and yet Jesus is right here with us. I find such peace in his Shalom. When we all encounter one disaster after another, it is easy to live life waiting for the next worst thing ever. But Shalom brings freedom. Thank you for sharing your heart Grace, and not shying away from vulnerability! It helps me to not be afraid to do the same.

  • Basheer Imaduddin Ghouse

    This was pretty wonderful. Thanks.

  • Sk
    • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com Grace Biskie

      AWESOME! Thanks for sharing!!! So glad to see it!

  • Farah

    Thank you for putting in words what I have been feeling for a long time. Sadly, most people feel that if it doesn’t affect them, then it is irrelevant. But in the end we are all human and every life is equally as valuable. Again, thanks so much :)

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  • http://revadele.blogspot.com Adele Henderson

    Beautiful Grace. Thank you for pointing out the obvious and the necessity that is on us all when it comes to the vulnerable.

  • Kathy Tuan-Maclean

    Grace, thanks for writing this–the photo of your kids and their message is so awesome!

  • http://mansouled-fiery-islands.blogspot.com/ Durell Douthit

    I posted your post on my blog this morning, without permission. I’ll take it off if you want me to, and I want my readers to read what you have written. Thanks so much for writing.

    • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com Grace Biskie

      It’s fine, Durrell. Thanks for lettingus know! Blessings to you!

  • sheila st.pierre

    May your GOD bless you.We are praying for you all.

  • Nargis Mahdi

    Thank you for writing this. I am an Afghan and it makes a huge difference when you get a picture of two beautiful kids holding a sign of hope for Afghanistan. It makes a difference when someone says that though we don’t know the country, the people, we are still praying for peace and stability in the country. Thank you for asking those questions and trying to reach out to those who are hurt around the world. God bless you.


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