A child lies screaming in an improvised tent in a refugee compound. Her arms and legs are sticks, the femur and tibia bones on display for any to see. The skin on her head is etched to her skull, no cheeks or even flesh on the lips, dysentery, and measles having stolen away her health. She cries for food, her mother attempts to feed her from shrunken breasts. The child was healthy once, flesh full. Her mother says she thinks the worst is over. The girl has stopped loosing weight. Perhaps there is hope, but it seems unlikely.
In Gaza, Palestinians look like makeshift Davids, slingshotting stones at the Goliath Israeli troops with powerful weapons. Hurling their bodies at the border wall, thinking themselves as heroes trying to take back land they haven’t owned since 1948. Even in mass, they haven’t a chance to overwhelm such well armed and trained enemies. The Israelis’ tenaciously holding on to land bequeathed them after the Holocaust.
In Syria, the White Hats cast rubble aside looking for survivors and bodies in the remains of what was once homes and shops. Their heroism speaks for itself. They sacrifice for the sake of others, bright spots of hope in the ruins of war.
The Middle East is by no means isolated in their violence. It spreads throughout the World, sometimes insidiously, sometimes with brutal force. Our own country is filled with terrorist activities – our school children bearing the brunt of wounded souls’ rage. I know God gave us free will but what type of World is this when the mightiest beings are intent on destroying both their own races and what others might call lesser beings.
The child’s screams echo in my ears, warning me that war and horror can be lurking close by.
God granted us the Right of Free Will when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Yet, these days I find myself in a quagmire of thoughts about that act. Knowledge has led us far. We are not the Innocents we would have been without it. And yes, I am also a firm believer in Evolution. Justifying the two is an interesting balancing act on the scales, particularly the Scale of Justice.
When I pray these days, many times it is that God intervene and fill the hearts and souls of all aggressors with Loving Kindness so they could never imagine conducting acts of aggression again, and that those who have been persecuted not rise up in retribution should that happen.
But then I circle back to Free Will. Frankly, I think it has not helped us in many cases. We have only to look as far as ISIS and the treatment of Refugees. Of the girls raped and children turned into child soldiers. Or child brides. Or the Racism that pervades our society and the acts it generates. Of terrorism in all its facets. Or torture. The list goes on . . .
And then I look at the ramifications of not having Free Will. Would research for advances in science and medicine continue? What about the right of abortion and birth control? How would population control be handled? What about all the cultural distinctions of tribes, religions, and countries all over the world? Would the intricacies of our personalities cease to exist? What would happen to uniqueness? Would mental illness be eliminated? Would we all be committed to cherishing and protecting the environment and all beings – flora and fauna? Would Religions in all their varieties still exist or would there be a uniform one or none? Would atheists still believe as they do?
What would God’s will look like? And ultimately, would God choose to have both Good and Evil after all?