OK, this is a short post.
And this is an easy quiz. What do the following people have in common?
Whitney Houston, singer/actress, age 48
Amy Winehouse, singer, age 27
Michael Jackson, singer, age 50
Heath Ledger, actor, age 28
Chris Farley, actor/comedian, age 33
John Belushi, actor/comediean, age 33
Or. . .if you are from my generation, what about these people?
Jim Morrison, singer for The Doors, age 27
Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones, age 27
Janis Joplin, singer/songwriter, age 27
Jimi Hendrix, singer/songwriter, age 27
John Bonhom, drummer for Led Zeppelin, age 32
Elvis Presley, singer/actor, age 42
And what about screen legends Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe?
What do all these people have in common? You know the answer: they were celebrities who died prematurely – in part because of addictions to drugs or alcohol. Sad, tragic, senseless deaths that all made big news.
I don’t want to minimize their deaths but. . .how many people are dying every day in Syria as people there boldly try to gain freedom? How many children died today in Homs? How many people know about their deaths? How many people care?
Thankfully, some news services are reporting the tragic events going on there (caution: the video below has graphic images of wounded or dying people – some are children).
Rights groups say more than 6,000 people have been killed in Syria since government forces began cracking down on democracy protests launched 11 months ago today.
I grieve over senseless loss of human life – but not just the deaths of celebrities. I grieve over the senseless loss of human lives today – in Homs, Syria.
Do you feel the same?
To my Muslim and Christian friends: what do you believe God feels regarding the loss of these lives in Syria – especially the children?
Thanks Mark for your insightful comparison. It is important to remember how much God cares and watches over each one of his children, from the beginning to the end of our earthly days.
Thomas, yes, He cares so much for each human life. All are made in His image. May we gain His heart for the oppressed in our world–to see justice for the widow and orphan, for the poor. This is the heart of God. This is the heart of Jesus.
I am new to blogs Mark and still am not sure if I posted this right – I don’t face book either :( anyway I wanted you to know that I do read them every so often and in reading this an old song came to mind – I sang it many many years ago and it was about building walls and bridges – the line goes, “if you build a wall your world is small but a bridge of love will conqure all.” Keep up the bridge building and know we are praying for you! We are taking care of the widow and orphans back here in the snow!! Finally the kids say!!
Julie, you did post it right! Great job! MJ and I thank you for your encouragement and all you have done for us — and so many other people.
Many die simply for believing in al-Masih in Syria. May we all cry out for true freedom for souls to follow the truth and be bound by the human bonds of love. Last night I watched a movie on William Wilburforce and his quest to end slavery: Amazing Grace. What is needed in our day is a team of like minded campaigners who will stand against unbelief and violence in the name of religion and power. People willing to lay down their lives and their pride for the name which sets souls free: Jesus. A celebrity in his own day who died at less than 40 years old, but rose again. He too tasted an opiate right before his death (gall, see Lamentations 3:15, 19; Matthew 27:34), but he turned away from full consumption. He drank vinegar though (sour wine – John 19:28-30). Jesus died not of an overdose of drugs, but from a reaction to sin. Oh, that we too might react against sin and evil of every kind.
Mert, you always bring such insights. Your heart for the Lord always stirs me to love Him more. To tell more people about Him. “Tell the nations of the glorious things He has done!”
Yes, may we hate evil as Jesus did. May we stand fearlessly against it in all its forms.
Here is a clip on Damascus, Syria.
Another clip on Syrian Government. PRAY.
mark, your blog shows us that you care. You are a good man. You remind me that even famous and powerful people will someday die. No own can escape death.
Dear Anonymous Friend, thanks for your kind words. I do care. . .but not nearly enough. It is still easy for me to watch videos of Homs and other heart-wrenching examples of the loss of human life and then go right back to whatever I was doing withhout real change in my heart and mind.
You are so right: no one can escape death. We must be ready because none of us knows the day or the hour that God has for us to die and then face Him in all His holy perfection and glory.
Hebrews 9:27 in the Bible says, “each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment. . .” Let us be ready for that day!
I find it most disturbing the cruelities people inflict on one another. In my lifetime there has been no end to violence. In Russia duirng the communist reign 20 million were killed for religous “protection” of the country: Jews, Christians, Muslims.
Pol Pot killed thosands of his country men.
The list goes on and on, country after country.
This saddens me, but more so saddens God Almighty. “For God so loves the World…” John 3:16
Today people inflict cruelity on those sold into slavery, child porongraphy, and sexual domination. And yet we say that mankind is basicly good! I think we turn a blind eye to what is happening around us. And we try to be blind to the evil that is within our hearts.
But I too need the cleansing forgiveness of God for the evil within me. Thanks be to God that through Jesus I have found this. It has changed my life!
Nan, what a thoughtful expression of what “religion” can do when people use it for their own ends. I so agree with your statement about how easy it is for us to turn a blind eye to evil–especially the evil in our own hearts!!!
I too rejoice in the forgiveness I found through the amazing grace of God through Jesus. What joy to be forgiven!
I t is forbiden to kill in all three religion in christain religion( shall not kill} in slam said in holy quran the following
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
This is heartbreaking to watch. I don’t know enough about what is happening in Syria to comment but I can pray. I will pray!!
Rachel, so good to hear from you about your desire to pray for Syria and the people who are suffering so greatly there. Thank you!
When I hear, see, and read about injustices as these, I think of Psalm 10. In the Psalm the writer laments about the arrogance of the wicked man who “lies in wait near villages; from ambush he murders the innocent, watching them in secret for his victims” (v. 8).
But praise God almighty, that “the LORD is King for ever and ever” and that no president or dictator of country can say the same. God is in control and He is everlasting while others will pass away and be no more.
The psalmist says of God, “You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them , and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.”
The Bible speaks of God as one that cares for the oppressed and who is mindful of the needy. In the end, He will uphold their case against the wicked and their reign of terror will end.
Mark, thank you for the reminder to pray for these people who are truly being oppressed. I shall indeed pray in the name of Jesus for these precious people.
Andrew, I remember an earlier reply that you made. Your words are so well thought out. Are you a writer? If not, maybe you should be!
Thank you for the excellent reminder that God alone is King — no one else. And in the end, He will bring justice. Sometimes it is hard to remember that when you see all the news reports. Just last night we saw a man in Syria lying down next to his dead child. He was swearing to that child that he would get revenge for the child’s death. How sad because ultimately — no matter what he does — he won’t be able to get the revenge he so desperately seeks.
Romans 12:19 – “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
‘I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the LORD.'”
Only God can bring ultimate justice. Only God knows how to mete it out.
I rest in His wisdom — inspite of what I see now. “We walk by faith, not by sight.”