Today was a heavy day. My skin literally crawled and I didn’t want to walk. I wished I could get the tears out but really, it wasn’t about how I felt as the atrocities committed to 1.3 million Jews and Slavics here at Auschwitz.
What do I say? How do I get my feelings out? Piles of shoes, piles of hairbrushes, piles of spectacles, piles of women’s braided hair made into cloth. Walking through gas chambers and cremetories. 198 escape attempts out of 1,300,000 people. Thousands squished together in brick buildings, scorching in summer and freezing in winter. 15 seconds to use the toilets, twice a day. Rats eating you alive, too weak to fight them off. Thinking you were having a shower only to discover the doors closing behind you in the gas chamber. It’s too terrible.
This year it drove home to me that this, could have been me, or any nation, if a powerful nation didn’t like the way I looked. And it drove home to me the destructive power of prejudice and discrimination, and when we let our anger and cruelty grow inside of us and drive us to insanity. When we let insanity grow.
It is hard to say oh love is the answer, but it is. It drove home the importance of kindness, action speaking louder than words, of courage, of enjoying people for how God made them while wanting them to be the best they can. Christians apparently killed Jews in Old town Krakow before Auschwitz, and I want to know where ‘there is no Jew or Gentile, but all are equal in Christ’ comes into play? But whenever I see these situations I want to check myself to see if I stand up for the weak, or if I avoid certain people, and how I would have actually reacted to this if it happened within my lifetime.
It challenged me with the question – where is God in Auschwitz? – something I need to think through a lot more. I guess it shows just how great heaven is and his love for us (Romans 8) and also how important getting involved as God’s ambassadors actually is. I think it will take a while to process all this and I’d love a big hug right now to know some love and comfort.
May I never see this happen again, not only in my lifetime but also in my life. I love you, people. xo