Image-Bearers of God

Last night Lena and I watched the movie Hotel Rwanda, about the genocide that took place there in 1994. A million people were brutally killed, and the movie tells the story of a man who put his own life on the line over and over to save his family and over one thousand others he kept in his hotel. It was a very intense movie, because of the violence and the emotions the characters went through.

The thing that stuck out to me from whole movie was a statement that a journalist made to the main character, Paul. Paul was asking if he thought the raw footage the journalist had gotten of the killings would mobilize people in the West to help stop the violence. The journalist said that when people saw the footage they would say, “Wow, so that’s so sad and horrible”. But then they would go back to eating their dinners and go on with life like nothing was happening.

This struck me because I did the same thing just recently. Lena read me a story from a Voice of the Martyrs magazine about the persecution of Christians taking place in North Korea. I said, “Wow, that’s horrible, we have it so good here”. But, what did I do then? Nothing. If I really cared about my brothers and sisters in North Korea, couldn’t I pray for strength and God’s special grace for them? Couldn’t I tell others about the persecution going on there, and try to find ways to make a difference?

So, why do we ignore the atrocities going on around the world, and go back to our dinners as though nothing is going on? I admit, sometimes it’s hard to empathize or understand when violence or tragedy doesn’t touch us directly. But all of us, whether we live in Rwanda, North Korea, Italy, Colombia, or Texas, are created in the image of God and we bear His stamp. I think this gives us the duty of taking care of our fellow image-bearers. I’ll be honest, I haven’t quite figured out what it all means. Do we in the US step in whenever another country is in conflict? What can we as western Christians do about persecution that takes place? Prayer is an awesome way to start and so important, but is there more that we need to do?

I don’t have all the answers, or any really, but watching the movie really challenged me. I’m going to start by praying for the Christians in North Korea and then I am going to trust the Holy Spirit to prompt me when the next move is necessary. If you have any thoughts you would like to share, please let me know!

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