I’ve been wanting to write about Syria for awhile. But, there has been so much noise surrounding the tragedy, so many opinions, so many political agendas, that I have stayed away from it thus far. I have some thoughts (that may or may not be helpful, or original) about Syria, but not a definite structure in which to clearly present them. So, instead of writing a short paper (or the like), I’ve written a poem (poeticish). Please feel free to add further thoughts to the discussion. I’m more interested in listening than speaking about Syria.
Facebook…the Wikipedia of personal opinions. Easily accessible, too easy to use, too easy to see, too easy to respond, too easy to be of substance.
CNN…selling Cyrus, selling Syria. Fox…selling football, Home Depot, America – in that order.
You have an opinion.
I have an opinion.
And…Facebook is easy. CNN.com is easy. Leave a comment, save the world.
HUMANITARIANISM! Leave lots of comments, save the world a bunch of times.
“Well in my opinion…”
“I’m sorry, but…”
As long as one of these disclaimers is tacked on the front of your speech, you can say whatever you want and your conscience is clear…because as long as your sorry…and “everyone is entitled to their opinion”.
Entitlement: The first step in a long series of unfortunate events.
When is the last time you thought positively about the future of the Middle East?
“Iran…the great hope of the future!”
Hope is much more dangerous than criticism.
If our expectations are low, then we won’t be disappointed.
But, if I hope, I expose myself (specifically that mystical part of me most commonly called my “heart”) to hurt, to grief, to pain, to looking like a fool.
I see the complexities of Syria and it is indeed overwhelming.
Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, Greece-Roman Empire, the Apostle Paul stops in for a cup of coffee and a church plant, Persianish Empire, Islamic invasions (absorbing eastern paganism, gnosticism, Christianity, Judaism, eastern mystical religions, eastern philosophies, etc.), western colonialism, WWII, arbitrary redistribution, and arbitrary boarders with rigid dictators.
Hope is dangerous because it looks the facts in the face and says, “Your only a piece of the full picture”.
Hope is reckless because it answers hopelessness with love.
If God is infinite, He can be as reckless as He likes without concern.
If Satan is finite, which he surely is, His recklessness leads to him lacking in some essential regard.
Hope and hate are equally reckless with very different results. Hope is infinite and can continue supernaturally and eternally. Hate is finite and will end, having spent its full balance.
The difference between opinion and hope has to do with two things; listening and focus of vision.
I’ve floated this thought before, and I’ll float it again. Intercession, at its heart, has everything to do with intentionally feeling what God feels. This is done on behalf of something else. To intercede is to align yourself with God and then pray, do, speak, etc. accordingly. Intercession has little to do with words, and nothing to do with opinion.
Opinion is closely linked to taste. Taste is closely linked to individuality. Individuality is closely liked to uniqueness. Uniqueness is closely linked to the creative act and image of God in an individual.
There is certainly a place for opinion. Intercession isn’t one of those places.
The kingdom in Syria doesn’t depend on my opinion of Syria…or yours.
The kingdom in Syria has everything to do, and completely depends, on submission to the heart of the Father on behalf of her.
He is humble in this way. He places the care of His Will in the hands of those He created and gave free will. And His will will be done. This is a mystery. Ascribe to Him this glory – that He is humble and victorious. Amazing.
I’ve heard so, so many opinions on Syria.
So, so little hope has been spoken for, or over, her.
Hope has to do with what you are focusing on. You must “set your eyes” on it. One must choose to see it.
Hope has to do with who you are listening to.
Opinions breed opinions breed opinions breed opinions breed opinions breed opinions breed.
I don’t think hope is quite so circular. It goes somewhere, even if it goes there on a very, very narrow path.
Praying for Syria (to borrow an often used, but descriptive, picture) can feel like trying to stop the tide of the ocean with your arms. “What’s the point? What good will it do? We’re American, and we need quantifiable results. We need to know that our money is being used well (that’s why we don’t give to the guy begging on the corner, cause he’ll use it on booze). We need to be investing in a tangible way.”
Prayer isn’t tangible. It isn’t quantifiable. It isn’t concrete. And you can’t see it with your eyes.
If prayer is one thing, it’s hope. Hope agreed. Hope submitted to. Hope believed. Hope spoken. Hope cried. Hope seen. Hope recklessly flung towards. Hope recklessly spent on.
Hope is reckless. Hope is foolish. Hope is dangerous. Hope is painful. Hope says, “my opinion is worth laying down”.
Hope says, “There is no end in sight to this misery, but that is not the full picture”.
Hope is to focus on the Father, lay your opinion down, listen, and feel what he feels.
Isn’t this the same with our small children? “Son and daughter, look at me. This is what my heart for you is. Obey.”
Hope is the only hope for Syria. Not my opinion on what should be done. Not your opinion on what must be done. Not what we think Obama, or Putin, or congress, or _______________ should do. None of our opinions can offer something better to Syria.
But it’s dangerous, and you will never see the results.