I don’t get ISIS. At all. I can’t comprehend such disregard for the dignity of human life. I can’t imagine the devastating impact on the victims of the atrocities ISIS is committing. I don’t want to live in a world where people can do such horrific things to each other.
But that’s not something I get to choose. We do live in a world where people are tortured and killed, where girls are kidnapped from schools and forced into marriage or prostitution, where young people are radicalized and turned into killing machines.
What is a person of faith to do?
Yesterday, I listened in on a Carter Center webinar conversation addressing women’s rights. One of the women, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, an international worker, said that, as an international community, we must learn to recognize and honor humanity’s rich diversity, we must learn to honor the dignity of every human being.
That’s the message of this week’s story from Genesis about the (rain)bow God places in the sky after Noah’s ark lands on Mt. Ararat. “When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth,” God says in 9:16. God’s love and protection extend to all living creatures.
The atrocities happening around the globe are overwhelming. This seems so small, so simple…but perhaps the best thing I, as an individual, can do is to love all living things I encounter today with the same fierceness that God loves them. If I do that, and if you do that, and if a few other people do that, perhaps, just maybe, we’ll begin to make a difference.