The Little Syrian Angel
The world’s heart has been broken over a video clip gone viral two weeks ago. Who can forget the picture of that five-year-old Syrian boy, pulled from the rubble of an Aleppo building, the victim of yet another lethal bomb in the war-torn city. Stunned and mute, the boy is seated on an orange jump seat in the back of an ambulance, the side of his head gashed by some projectile. While the video rolls, the young child stares back with blank expression, bewildered into silence. Not even a sob. Silence. What was he thinking in that moment of sheer terror? His chubby hand reaches up to his mane of hair, piled high now on his head, soaked in his own blood. The boy begins to rub his temple where the wound is coagulating. And as he rubs, his hand is soon stained red. Silence. Staring out the open gate of the vehicle, he keeps rubbing (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/08/haunting-video-bewildered-syrian-b...).
What does five-year-old Omran Daqneesh have to do with you and me on this holiday weekend in this country surprisingly still at relative peace? (The “the boy in the ambulance,” as he is now remembered, survived, as did his parents and three siblings.) I wonder to myself if he is not a symbol of an entire civilization. A dazed world with a billion heartaches and as many broken lives, staring blankly into the lens of eternity, not knowing, and too wounded to even care, who is on the other side of that glass eye that stares back.
The narratives across the earth are a billion times different, but the story tragically the same: forces beyond our control locked in a mortal battle for this race, this very human race. We know the enemy and his dark heart. The insanity that rules his mind we know all too well.
But do we know the Father of the race? Do we share His shattered heart?
Jesus once asked: “‘Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. . . . You are worth more than many sparrows’” (Matthew 10:29-30). “‘Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish’” (Matthew 18:14). “‘No, the Father himself loves you’” (John 16:27). “‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’” (John 3:16).
“Not a sigh is breathed, not a pain felt, not a grief pierces the soul, but the throb vibrates to the Father’s heart. . . . [I]t is in this speck of a world, in the souls that He gave His only-begotten Son to save, that His interest and the interest of all heaven is centered. God is bending from His throne to hear the cry of the oppressed. To every sincere prayer He answers, ‘Here am I.’ He uplifts the distressed and downtrodden. In all our afflictions He is afflicted. In every temptation and every trial the angel of His presence is near to deliver” (Desire of Ages 356).
Into the world of Omran Daqneesh we must hurry to bring the urgently Good News of this Father of Jesus who is our Father, too. And Omran’s Father. And the fiercely loving Father of this very human race. Time is running out for Aleppo, Syria, the United States, the world. If we don’t go now, will we ever go?
Hope Trending is six weeks away. Like no other previous effort to communicate the Good News of our God, Hope Trending will plunge through the wide open door of the Internet, and through social media connect with thousands of this civilization. Not only through digital communities, but through the warm, friendly environ of your Watch Party, hundreds and thousands of Watch Parties. The stunned, blank face of that little Syrian angel is an impassioned appeal to those who know the Good News to share the Good News. While there is still time.
Which is why this is the right time for you to prayerfully assemble your Watch Party for Hope Trending—isn’t it? (For more information: hopetrending.org.)