200 miles from Earth, a man sits in a spaceship looking down over the beautiful planet we know as home. He gazes down over the lights, the darkness, the contrast. Then as he realizes the location of the spectacular illumination, his heart sinks and tears pour from his eyes, but he cannot look away.
This is the sight Alexander Gerst was witnessing when he might have experienced what I wrote above. The location is Isreal and Gaza underneath blaring rockets and bombs exploding in the night. Anyone looking at this photo is witnessing murder, despite the disguise of elegance and luster, despite the distance, despite your definition of murder. If you were to zoom in, you would see people dying, bloodshed in the streets, cries and screams in small towns, people panicking, and parents trying to reassure their children it would be alright even though they don't believe it themselves.
We can't visually see any of this in the picture, we can imagine it, we can feel it and we know it hurts. And It doesn't have to be this way.
What makes people so angry that they resort to killing each other? What makes people feel so much resentment that they cannot control their actions?
I have a certainty that anyone who could hurt people are very hurt themselves. My maternal instincts want to hug the violence and rage out of them and ask them, what hurts? What is wrong? I want to hold them while they cry. I want to talk their anger right out of their hearts so they can surrender to what feels good.
Even though these thoughts are sad and difficult to bear, it's important to acknowledge the internal struggles going on in the humans propagating wars. It's important that we as witnesses do not propagate the war inside ourselves by harboring blame or resentment for these people because then, on a smaller scale, we are just doing what they are doing: projecting our pain onto others so that they must suffer with us.
I ask that you forgive and love these people, have compassion because they are human just like you. I know you have gotten made at someone at one point in your life. You've hit someone out of deep anger or hatred. You've yelled and screamed at someone you love. You may have even killed someone.
War is a larger expression of those same emotions. The same feelings you have felt are the same feelings that are causing the war. Once you understand that, it's easier to have a little compassion for terrorists or serial killers because they are people too. And they just need love.