Pray for the peacemakers everywhere

As I see images from the ongoing and out of control rioting in Ferguson, Missouri; I am struck by the pure and unbridled hatred being manifested by people toward the police. These people are willing to sacrifice their very lives to prove their point that all cops are bad and deserve to die. I am left with the overwhelming question in my mind; where does all this hate come from?

Next to the restaurant where my wife works is a new hotel just built last year. Yesterday morning and then again this morning we noticed about 20-25 Missouri State Police cars parked in the lot. We found out that this is where the beleaguered men and women on the front lines of the street warfare in Ferguson come to catch a few hours of sleep in between shifts.

This morning I saw one of those men as he got out of his patrol car heading for the hotel. The man looked like death warmed over. He was obviously tired to the bone and stressed out mentally after yet another night of conflict, tear gas, arrests and shots being fired. All I could think of was that this man probably had a wife and children at home worried sick about his safety. I can tell you in no uncertain terms, this man WAS NOT A PIG, as the protesters proclaim.

My heart goes out to those charged with “keeping the peace” , for theirs in a job no one appreciates or understands. They must put themselves in the line of fire in order to get different sides to back down, listen and hopefully talk. No wonder Jesus said that peacemakers are blessed. Anyone who has to mediate a conflict, whether verbal or with weapons of destruction, has to have nerves of steel and a heart immune from personal emotions.

As I see images of men, women and children literally running for their lives in Iraq, I am struck by the fact that in so many places on this earth, hatred and absolute disregard for the value of human life is non-existent. Just as in all cases of genocide, the humanity of the enemy has been removed and all that is left is a body (no different than a deer, rabbit or other hunted animal) that needs to be exterminated as one would get rid of roaches or ants.

It is a travesty that abortion is still legal, and it is truly a horrible thing that so many unborn children are murdered each day around the world. But, what about actual living, breathing, walking and talking people. Is not their systematic genocide even more grotesque and ugly than killing an unborn child? Of all the atrocities man does to man, none is worse than genocide, otherwise known as ethnic cleansing.

Adolph Hitler set about seeking to systematically purge his new kingdom of Jews. Millions of people were killed for no other reason than their ethnicity. In Rwanda, a half of million people of one tribe were killed (usually with a machete) by another tribe as they sought retribution for horrible atrocities in the past and to cleanse the country of their presence and memory.

Ethnic cleansing, unbridled hatred by one race toward another and the mistaken belief that one group of people is universally better or anointed to be most powerful on earth leads to mass murder, rioting in the streets and a general sense of uneasiness everywhere. Add into this equation the power of religious hatred and the outcome is horrifying and senseless.

We live in a world ready to explode with anger, righteous indignation and the burning lust to spill blood of perceived enemies. It seems that each day brings a new challenge for those charged with keeping the peace or mediating between warring parties. Please pray for those who must put themselves in harm's way in order to calm down the fires of hatred ready to erupt into savage brutality at any moment.