Cruelty and Compassion

There are no words adequately to describe the suffering of the Syrian people. For most of us, what we know comes at second-hand and is inevitably tinged with the opinions of whoever is doing the reporting. The situation is grave, yet the rest of the world seems incapable of doing more than trying to bring the many warring factions to see that a military solution is no solution at all. We should not undervalue that. Just as cruelty takes many forms, so does compassion. In acknowledging our own helplessness, our inability to end the suffering of others, we too can suffer with them — not in the literal sense, but in the moral sense. From a Christian perspective, all human suffering is taken up into the redemptive suffering of Christ. For those of us who are bystanders, so to say, our job is to pray: pray for peace; pray for reconciliation; pray for a miracle. Our faith is being tested no less than our compassion, but with God all things are possible.

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