Words no child should have to say

Words no child should have to say March 25, 2024

Courtesy 972+ Magazine

“I’m scared. I swear, I’m scared. I just want to leave.” These are the tear-filled words of a child walking away from the rubble in Gaza. Another viral YouTube video shows a child climbing an electrical pole. When the father asks what he is doing up there, the boy responds, “I want to die.”

I posted on my Facebook page a few days ago a brief video of two young children (ages 2-3?) sitting in a hospital room in Gaza. They had cuts and wounds across their faces (shrapnel?) and they were covered in dust. They were shaking uncontrollably. I could hardly look. But we have to look. It is too easy for us to turn away. These children do not have the luxury to turn away.

These children will never be children. They will carry their trauma with them for the rest of their lives.


The numbers are mind-numbing: in addition to the 1,200 Israelis that died on Oct 7, and the 240+ hostages, there have been 32,000 killed, 74,000 injured, and thousands missing and presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza.

But this is not where the tragedy ends. There are the millions among the living that will suffer for the rest of their lives (some professionals believe that trauma can be passed down to the next generation and perhaps beyond).

There are 17000 new orphans. There are thousands of WCNSFs (“Wounded Child No Surviving Family).

The survivors must live the rest of their lives with the trauma they have experienced. They must face the rest of their lives living with the memories of those whom they have lost—children, parents, loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Many must live with the loss of limbs. And there are the long-term health effects.

The long-term effects are incalculable.

Now the fear of famine has reached a critical point in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands face catastrophic hunger. From mid-March to mid-July, in the most likely scenario and assuming a worsening of the war including a ground offensive in Rafah city, half of Gaza’s population or 1.11 million people were expected to face catastrophic conditions.

I am no expert here, but I understand that famine is not just about the possibility of dying from a lack of food. Even if one survives a famine, there are often long-term health effects. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated, “Once a famine is declared, it is too late for too many people.”

As the people of God, as the ones who follow the Prince of Peace, I beg of you to demand a ceasefire.

“But a ceasefire doesn’t address Israel’s security needs.” But neither does war. Jewish scholar Peter Beinart says, “It is a ‘Sick joke’ to think they can de-radicalize Gaza by means of this massacre.”

As we enter Holy Week, we must learn that Jesus’ death and resurrection are about much more than our salvation. Jesus did much more than die for our sins. His death and resurrection demonstrate that in His kingdom life and justice come through suffering for the other. This is what it means to love.

It is time for us to follow the way of Jesus. It is time for us to “carry our crosses” (Mark 8:34). It is time for us to “Follow the Lamb” (Rev 14:4). It is time for us to be the peacemakers (Matt 5:9) and the demanders of peace. It is time for us to love the way Jesus did.

After all, violence begets more violence (Matt 26:52).

I don’t usually write short posts, but there is nothing else to say.


Our goal is to keep these posts free of charge. I do not intend to ever hide them behind a paywall. I can only do this if those of you who have been blessed by them and can afford to give ($5, $10, $25, or more/month) do so. You can give a tax-deductible contribution by following this link.

Please share this post and let others know about determinetruth.

If you wish to view this blog on your smartphone through the Determinetruth app simply download the “tithe.ly church” app on your smartphone and insert “determinetruth” as the church name you wish to follow. Once it is loaded, simply click on the “blog” icon and it will automatically load.

If you would like to have Rob speak at your church or organization in person or via Zoom, please let us know by filling out the contact info on the Contact me tab on this site.

About Rob Dalrymple
Rob Dalrymple is married to his wife Toni and is the father of four fabulous children, and two grandchildren. He has been teaching and pastoring for over 34 years at colleges, seminaries, and the local church. He has a PhD in biblical interpretation. He is the author of four books (including Follow the Lamb: A Guide to Reading, Understanding, and Applying the Book of Revelation & Understanding the New Testament and the End Times: Why it Matters) as well as numerous articles and other publications. He is currently completing a commentary on the book of Revelation titled, “Revelation: a Love Story” (Cascade Books, pending 2025). He is also in contract for a book on “Reading the NT in a year: A study and devotional guide.” You can read more about the author here.

Browse Our Archives