Never Again. This is carved in stone in seven languages on the monument at the Treblinka death camp. I wonder if we ever meant this. It says never again, but we do this again and again. We annihilate each other time and time again, and God weeps.
But this is just the most recent atrocity we have committed against each other. Cambodia. Bosnia. Rwanda. Darfur. All of these genocides occurred since the words were carved on this stone in Treblinka. And what for?
Bashir al-Assad wants to remain in power in Syria even if there are no people left to rule over. Russia and Iran are happy to back Assad at any cost. Human life is cheap. It’s about maintaining power for them, too.
Until we begin to see each other as God’s creation, as equals each carrying the face of God, we will continue to treat each other as commodities. We will continue to do this. Again and again. We can carve whatever we like into stone. God already tried that with us, giving Moses the tablets containing the big 10. We aren’t doing to well. Just to recap here:
From Exodus 20:1-17
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
We’re screwing it all up. It’s time to pay attention to the words on the stones.
That’s my mite. It’s all I’ve got.