Great causes have sacrifices. It usually isn’t intentional, yet inevitably people are sacrificed. Physically and metaphorically we label the event casualties of war. The label is laced with positive attitude, implying the cause was great, the goal high, and the fight noble. Someone was hurt! Pain paid a visit to the innocent. Suffering was shared among those who least deserved it.
Recent events were and are, according to those dedicated to the fight, part of a just cause. Candidly, in this situation I lost my ability to understand why the cause is just long ago, but that isn’t where I am going in my reflection. Assuming the cause is just; does the end justify any means? Is there ever a case where one can and should assume a fighter’s intervention is required to assure the outcome of the conflict? Can and do we know when we should break the rules?
The question has faced those engaged in great causes for generations. In Jesus’ day when a confrontation occurred with the soldiers out to make an arrest, “Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, pulled it from its sheath and struck the Chief Priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. Malchus was the servant's name.” (John 18.10) Simon Peter thought he knew.
War atrocities continue. It is distressing to understand and grasp the situation when both parties are active participants in the conflict. It is almost impossible to come to terms with what happened if one party is innocent, especially when it involved women and children. Does any great cause demand such sacrifices? Is any great cause worthy of this price? Will this action touch the foundations for the future?
There may be things you and I cannot understand. I do suggest the following. It is our actions, in the midst of the battle, in times when there are no defenses, and even in the quiet when we alone are powerful that tell the story of our cause. I stand for compassion, mercy, and love; today is an opportunity for my actions to tell this story.
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