Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A Prayer for the Children
Today, I'm thinking about the children.
No, not my children (though they're never far from my mind) or the children of my neighbors or friends. Today, I'm thinking about the children of Iran.
Over the past several days, the news coming out of the country has gone from a feeling of hope for a free election to the crushing pain of a fraudulent outcome. And things continue to get worse; although the reports cannot be verified, people inside Iran have been telling of men and women thrown off of bridges, attacked by secret police carrying axes, and dragged out of homes and hospitals to be taken to secret locations - in many instances, never to be seen again. I can't see their faces in the grainy images on television, and I can't picture what the people look like who are Twittering and Facebooking and using every tool imaginable to get the word out.
But for some reason, I can see children - and it hurts. Children who are seeing their loved ones, people who only wanted a better life for their families and a brighter future for their country, dragged out of homes before their very eyes. Children who are exposed to the brutality of a regime that will do anything (or almost anything, though the fear that worse actions are still just around the corner) to suppress a revolution and seeing people attacked and beaten and shot. Children who probably never had to worry about what the next day would bring and who now have to fear what will happen in the next few minutes or hours.
As I write this, my daughters are safe in their beds, and all is quiet in my neighborhood. On the other side of the world, though, there is no safety and no quiet, and children there are only experiencing fear and uncertainty. I - we - can't comfort them or hug them or tell them that things will be alright the way that we would our own children during a summer storm or after they've had a bad dream. But we can pray, and pray we should - for the end of the violence, yes, but most especially that these young boys and girls can again know peace rather than fear and quiet rather than chaos.