Bearing Witness 2.0
I had no idea that on the morning of the Paris attacks, a suicide bomber killed 19 people and injured almost 40 others who were all attending a funeral in Baghdad, Iraq. This is what I get for relying on Facebook for almost all of my breaking news, a habit I clearly need to change.
Until that February evening, I had never known of the pain that screams from the earth in that small village in the mountains of Caucasia.
We need to develop some skillful means both to witness grief, and to live in grief. We need to learn how to support rather than to solve. We need to practice being in there with grief, rather than getting out of it. And we need to hear the distinction between the two.
Would photographic evidence and video testimony have made any difference to the wall of indifference that greeted Karski?
Life presents us with so many ways to bear witness to each other every day. We must embrace these opportunities for loving.
We remember how far we've come to have the ordinary join this date again. And we bear witness largely by living intentional lives, created anew from the rubble.
We're used to seeing images of death and destruction in the movies because death and destruction Hollywood-style is comfortably fictionalized. But, today, the footage is documentary, and the death and destruction is real.
Bearing witness to a deceased loved one is about doing whatever it takes for you to feel that you have done your part to preserve and honor his or her memory.
When we bear witness, we lovingly give our attention to the other without judgment. When we allow another to bear witness to us, we give ourselves the freedom to be known.