This Changes Everything | Sojourners

This Changes Everything

Every single member of God's family is as important to God as you are.

Every time I hear a news report about casualties of war, my mind travels back to the early ’90s. Twice in two years I traveled with a humanitarian organization to Croatia and Bosnia as those countries were being ripped apart by war with Serbia. It was a vicious war. When entering a village, soldiers routinely raped the women and took captive all the men and boys over 13, most of whom never returned.

In Croatia, we visited refugee centers filled with women who had lost everything: jobs, husbands, homes, country, and their planned-for future. In Bosnia, we visited schools where social workers tried to help grade-school kids who suffered so severely from post-traumatic stress that they sat all day silently chewing their nails to the quick. It was the first time I had seen war up close, and I was stunned by what human beings do to one another.
On my last day in Croatia, I climbed to the top of a hill that overlooked the countryside of Bosnia. I sat there for hours and wept and prayed for the women and children I’d seen. While I prayed, an unbidden question repeated itself: “Am I my sister’s keeper?” And the repeated answer was, Yes, yes, yes; you are your sister’s keeper.
“God, then who is my sister?”
They are all your sisters, I sensed God saying. Croatian Catholics. Bosnian Muslims. Serbian Orthodox. They—and every other woman you will ever meet—are all your sisters. And every man you will ever meet is your brother. Whether they know it or not, they are all part of the human family I have created, and I love them.

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Sojourners Magazine May 2010
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