Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Days After

Well the votes are in and are being counted. The historical event has been accomplished and the world waits with baited breath for the results. But not as anxiously as the Iraqis. They are the ones who are really waiting for the results. This is a historical moment in time for them and the majority of the citizens have manifested an obvious longing for such a moment. Many of them, in spite of rocking explosions from suicidal bombers, trekked to polling stations around the country to cast their ballot for a leadership that would represent fair and equal treatment of all Iraqi citizens regardless of sect, religious affiliation, or language dialect. Some polling stations were littered with the charred remains and flecks of flesh from those who tried to thwart the electoral process. Hoping to drive fear in the voters -- and succeeding in a small handful of cases -- they only truly succeeded in opening the eyes of the citizens to recognizing that "we need to end this kind of terrorism." They are tired of it. They are tired of living in fear for their lives. One woman came out of her house after a suicide bomber's explosion shook it and her response to the reporter was simply, "We're used to the explosions. This is normal." Listening to a statement like that causes someone like me -- who is not used to that way of living -- to sit in amazement at the callousness of the tone in which she said it and at the reality of their existence. An existence where one must survive by hardening their heart to pain, loss, and fear or else live in those conditions with their heart exposed...risking deep heartache daily.

This is not a normal existence for the civilized world.

And what is civilized?
How about having running water, managed waste & utility systems, building codes, law enforcement agencies, governing bodies, regulating commissions, employers, and the like? Things that keep a country stable even when little eruptions of chaos attempt to break it now and then.

Iraq is working on establishing a governing council. And though that is a start, they will need to get over their prejudices and embrace their differences. They can all work together, build together, play together, govern together and live together if they can be tolerant of the things that they used to decide were reasons to hate each other. Everyone wants to be treated fairly...the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shia, the Shiites...and nobody wants to be controlled. Those are reasonable wants and can be reasonably accommodated.

Iraqi citizens are going to have to mature in their way of living together. This is a beginning and they have already displayed a desire to change their way of life. I am all for people who want to help themselves. When someone or a group of people fight to be free of oppression, pain, bondage, unforgiveness, inequality...and they ask for my help...I will fight with them. In whatever way I can. I may not be there in-country assigned to a base on orders from a military commander, but I can fight for these people on my knees in prayer on orders from my Holy commander. For the ignorant, this may appear to be a "weak" form of fighting. But I can guarantee the ignorant that prayer, when taught and led by the Holy Spirit, can tear down and build up just as effectively.

My heart went out to the people of Iraq when I read in the papers over the weekend how many of them made a choice to vote in spite of death threats.

Perseverance in the face of adversity.

I was cheering for the underdog. I wanted to see them win. I want to see good triumph over evil. I want to see years of suffering finally turn into years of joy. Years of oppression turn into years of liberation.

And now I wait and watch with the rest of the world, as well as with the Iraqi citizens, to see what the future has in store for these people.

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