I’m not sure what I want to write about. So, I’m just typing away.
There are days when life is like that – we keep going regardless of what we are feeling.
There are days when we hear people express their doubts about God. And we hear others tell them that God is there and that God loves you regardless of whether you feel it or not. The message is so very important for people to hear – especially those who feel abandoned.
There are days when you watch people make bad decisions and all you can do is shake your head and offer a prayer.
And there are days when everything comes together, people’s lives are changed, and you know that God has been at work.
Yesterday I put together a presentation that I am showing in my son’s fifth grade class. They are reading a book on WWII – specifically about concentration camps.
I don’t know what to call it, so I say it was a privilege to go to Dachau concentration camp when we lived in Europe. It’s one of the most disturbing places I have ever been. The gas chamber was probably the most jarring room I have ever walked into. There is debate about whether anyone was gassed in the room. But I will tell you this – you can feel the dead in that room. You can hear the screams. You can feel the suffering and hear the clawing at the walls as people die from gassing.
Putting this presentation gives me a mix of emotions. It’s disturbing, but it is also needed for another generation to know how truly evil humanity can be. We need to tell this story. And so today I go into a school to share what I saw and felt – the monument that exists today. It stands as a reminder. It stands as a warning. It stands to tell us that terrible things are possible if we aren’t vigilant.
Germany didn’t go from being “normal” one day to killing people in mass quantities the next. It was a progression. It happened in a relatively short time, but it was still a progression.
There needed to be “others” that could be blamed. These others needed to be scapegoats for people’s problems. They needed to be dehumanized. And then they needed to be eliminated.
We should be really careful when we start blaming groups of people for our problems. We should be really careful when we start scapegoating groups of people and labeling whole groups of people as murders and rapists and bringing drugs.
We should be really careful, but I wonder if this message is just preaching to the choir. The people who should be really careful won’t hear the message.
Today I share images of Dachau concentration camp. And today I will pray for those who have forgotten, for those who refuse to accept the history, for those who think that a little dehumanizing is acceptable, for those who make people into us vs them, for those who scapegoat whole groups of people, for those who think they are so much better than everyone else, for those who only care about themselves, for those who ignore the plight of the outcast. They need prayers. I invite you to pray with me for these people – and for ourselves – that we might be a light in a world of darkness where the horrors of Dachau can happen.
Instead of the death associated with Dachau, God invites us to participate in the life of the holy city of Jerusalem descending from heaven where God will dwell with a renewed, restored, and transformed creation. A city full of love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and hope. A city of life.