We meet the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at St. Gertrude's Ministry Center
(6214 N. Glenwood), beginning at 8:00 p.m. Folks are welcome to join us at anytime.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Souls Forgotten

Friday morning I read from 2 Samuel, chapter 11; the first portion of the story of David and Bathsheba up to the point when Uriah the Hittite is killed. It became apparent to me that as soon as David has taken Uriah’s wife, Uriah becomes for him an obstacle, no longer a person. At first David’s response to Uriah seems innocent enough; move him about, try to please him while simultaneously inserting him into a place that may provide cover for David’s err. When things don’t work out so neatly as David hoped though his unrest is further agitated and he very coolly escalates from disregarding Uriah as a brother and as a person to disregarding him even as a thing of any value. Uriah is an interference to David’s desire and a bur in his conscience. Because of this, Uriah is disposed of.

Reading this put me in mind of a recent Kairos meeting during which we reflected on WAT’s presence in D.C. and on torture and secrecy and neglect; on Guantanamo’s continuing presence and imprisonment even of those who have been cleared for release. Mary Ellen offered the observation that those who maintain a position of enmity or at best (worst?) disregard for these prisoners seem to have forgotten that these incarcerated men have a soul. And not only these men, but also the women and children whose bodies are dismembered and burned by our bombs—unobserved by their assailants—for those whose hearts are broken, for those lives that are snatched before they have had a chance to cry, for those who have lived so long with injustice that they have forgotten how to cry. Have those of us who allow these things, who at time even contribute to these things, forgotten that they have a soul? What object has, in our own souls, superseded the value of these men, these women, these human persons that causes us to view them—instead of as brother, sister, self—as mere obstacles that must be overcome, or ignored?

Aside: At the beginning of this month I partially participated in the 12-day fast for the closure of Guantanamo (among other things). My reflections on this have been posted in an unpolished format on my personal blog. For those who are interested, those reflections can be found here.

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