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Friday April 16, 2004

Conflict over conflict

Last weekend my parents' friends buried their son. He was some years older than me, but we had a lot in common. He and I grew up in the same Croatian bubble full of Sundays at the Croatian home in Eastlake eating cevapi and sarma. We went to the same high school and lived in the same circle. That circle experienced a horrific shock two weeks ago when it learned that one of their own was killed in the streets of Fallujah and mutilated on television. For his parents, who were less supportive of the war in Iraq than the average flag waiving patriot, nothing could possibly have been more devastating.

The shock of Jerry's death was followed by another unbelievable event: his mother expressing her mercy for the mob who "didn't know what they were doing."

In this age of unceasing violence, murder in the name of nationalism, and Christian acceptance of secular revenge, it's more shocking to encounter the merciful heart than the hateful one. As efforts to find new ways and new reasons to kill each other intensify, it's such a blessing to find someone willing to do what is right in spite of the popularity of vengeance. Jerry's mom has every right to hate the people who murdered her son. He didn't go to Iraq to kill, but was killed himself. But after losing her firstborn, she showed both our little Croatian bubble and the rest of the world, that discipleship is alive in America, 2004.

Matthew 5:7 - Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy


A neighbor down the street from me found out a few weeks ago that there son was injured in Iraq. And they chose not to be hateful about it either. It's amazing.

Jen on April 18, 2004 11:07 AM

It is good to see this in a world full of violence and hatred. Though I see a lot of anger, and hate in the world I do get to catch a glimps of love gleaming in the lives of people in my neck of the woods. Working in ministry I am always talking and comforting people who have lost a loved one, or who are in the hospital. Some people are so distraught and angry and others are so greatful and have such peace about them. It is touching to see this reaction to such a tragic event.

Pressed on April 18, 2004 03:01 PM