“Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – Genesis 4:9
This morning I woke up to the video of a young Ukrainian boy dying after the ground under his bike exploded from the impact of a Russian bomb. My daughter is next to me, dancing, oblivious to the dangers some 5000 miles away.
And in this moment, I’m reminded of a conversation that I had several years ago with an ex-PLO soldier and an ex-Israeli special forces officer who had found an uneasy friendship through their mutual grief. Both men had young daughters who died in armed skirmishes, daughters who weren’t as naïve as mine but still untainted by spilled blood and greed.
I imagine that there is a special place of punishment for those who kill children with bombs and bullets. But I wonder how far-reaching the judgment for the killing might be. Will it conclude with the one who loaded the gun? Will it reach far enough to sweep over the one who ordered it loaded? Will it also include the ones whose messages of hate make possible a world in which death is justified?
It’s so easy to become a Lamech when there are so many Cains and Abels. But the blood spilled upon the ground is truly crying out to the One who made it. We who are still here must learn to wash the blood off of our hands, hearts, and lips before we are forced to wipe it off the corpses of our dead sons and daughters.