Saturday, May 16, 2009

"All That is Here are Humans"

This week I was helping my daughter with a class presentation about the effectiveness of UN Peacekeeping in the world. One of our sources was Romeo Dallaire's book, Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda ,his account of the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990's when he was in charge of the ineffective UN force at that time. What he experienced and witnessed drove him into despair and madness for a time, and through his faith and therapy and the faithful love of his wife, he came back to sanity and is a powerful voice in the world today against the hypocrisy of many policies of our western governments.

I was riveted by something he said in the introduction:

Engraved still in my brain is the judgment of a small group of bureaucrats who came to "assess" the situation in the first weeks of the genocide: " We will recommend to our government not to intervene as the risks are high and all that is here are humans".

Besides the rage I feel along with him at "man's inhumanity to man", and the unspeakable evil that was unleashed in those few weeks, I ponder these words in the wider context of all that we and I do in so many contexts each day.

All that is here are humans.

All that is here are humans.

What does it really mean to say that?

How many times do we say that in one way or another to ourselves, or in our actions or our inaction?

How many times do we refuse to take risks, to move out of our comfort zones, in order to help others in their "humanity"?

How many times do I demean my own humanity, and that of another, a friend even, by not being willing to risk my reputation, my pride, my comfort, in order to reach out to them?

I find I have to ask myself this question more, rather than less, as I move on in my Christian life. I am struck more each day by the judgmentalism of Christians, and my own judgments, not only of others, but of myself.

I feel I have many more new levels to explore in my spiritual journey. After more than 40 years on this journey, I often feel I have only begun. I am more and more grateful for the new challenges God is bringing into my life: study and work in the areas of coaching and counselling, which really means learning, growing, and giving (and of course receiving) in the arenas of validating personhood and giving life.

But I know that what matters to Him, and really to me and my growth, is what is going on inside me. As I seek to grow to be more like Him, am I becoming more human? He became fully human. So it is completely spiritually "logical" that growing in Him means growing in my humanity. How often do we or I think that way? Even to ask myself that question in this way seems new for me.

I need to remember this every day: All that is here are humans. Then I need to decide what I am called to do because of that.

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