It was just over a month ago that the earthquake devastated Haiti, an impoverished place ill equipped to deal with the disaster. Since then emergency crews, including hundreds of doctors, nurses, and first responders from the U.S. and around the world have worked with remarkable dedication and sacrifice to restore some measure of order.
Just a few days ago, I returned from a short trip into Iraq with a small group of Christian peacemakers. Most of us had been to the country before, but under varying circumstances: I was on a combat deployment in 2004; Greg Barrett, our organizer, went as a journalist in the run-up to the invasion in 2003; and four were part of a peace team protesting the bombing campaign during that same period.
Shane Claiborne, Cliff Kindy, Weldon Nisly, and Peggy Gish were leaving Iraq in March 2003 when one of their vehicles was involved in an accident, leaving Cliff and Weldon with life-threatening injuries. Had it not been for a few Iraqi Good Samaritans, they may have never made it out alive.
The gospel according to Aretha Franklin says: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me."
Biblical wisdom teaches: "Give everyone what you owe him. If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." (Romans 13:7 NIV)