I think about Burma a lot. It’s hard not to. I see the result of the military junta everyday. I see the poorest of the poor digging through garbage, because even that is better than the life they had in Burma. I see men who have had their lively hood stolen from them by a landmine, now with no choice but to hobble streets on one leg, unable to work. I’ve met children whose parents were murdered before their eyes, now living as orphans in a foreign land. I’ve met a man who stood up against the government and was imprisoned and forced to flee the country. Now, he is unable to return to Burma without being caught again. It’s been twenty years since he’s seen his parents.
I think about the victims. I blame the leaders and the army. But, the other day it occurred to me that the victims just aren’t the obvious poor, broken people. There are hidden victims as well. What about the soldiers? Those men are Burmese. They have families; they once had dreams and goals for their lives. They are looked at with fear, and secret distain for the horrendous acts they commit, but maybe on the inside their just as broken as those they are persecuting.
I wonder what that young soldier thought the first time he was ordered to attack that village. What flashed through his mind as he lit the bamboo huts on fire, and shot at the men, women, and children who emerged? What do they think as they plant the landmines bent on destroying the lives and crumbling the spirits of people who are not so unlike themselves? I think that the soldiers are victims just as much as anyone.
Prayer. There’s not much I can do. I can’t storm into Burma in a Holy Rage. I can’t make the military leaders give up their power. I can’t even enter the jungle to bring basic help to the millions of people hiding in fear, but I can pray. And, so can you. So, let’s pray. Let’s pray that the soldiers will see that they were not created for brining destruction on the innocent and helpless. Let’s pray that the soldiers will be brought to their knees before Jesus and that they will refuse to do the dirty work of the government. I pray that they will join with the people, that they will become one voice to declare, “We don’t want this anymore.” There’s not much that we can do on our own, but there’s everything that He can do through us.