how i became slightly less descensitized in the shannon airport.

i can’t see. my vision is blurred and this is, in a large part, due to my descensitization. but you’re the same. descensitiaztion is facinating isn’t it? something can be so terrible and bring so much pain yet, if we hear enough about it or perhaps if it is in a distant land, then over time it becomes less of a terrible thing (though not in reality but at least in our view of things it does).

this is true for me when it comes to the war in iraq. now this is by no means an anti-iraq war rant, because i think we can all agree by now that what is going on over there is immoral. however, the US government obviously has it’s intentions set on staying there for quite sometime, so there isn’t much point in me expressing my disappointment with that here. this is more of a confession on my part.

we’ve all heard so much about the war “over there” that we have almost taken it to be a part of our everyday life. it seems that in every newspaper headline and on every news channel there are reports of MORE innocent people dying each day. we hear this, and then flick to the next channel to see what else is on and we’re almost not even phased by it anymore. dare i ask, have we stopped caring?

on my way home from ireland we had a brief stop over in the shannon airport in the south of ireland. the airport was packed, and i mean packed, with US soldiers that were on their way to iraq. some of them for the first time. as i stood in line for coffee there were these two young men standing in front of me, dressed in full army gear, but what stood out was that they looked no older than i. as i began to talk with them it turned out that i was right, in fact, they were younger than i, 18 and 19 respectively. and this was, for the both of them, their first trip over to iraq. it saddened me to think that these young men were going off to fight in a war that will seemingly never end and in which people are dying on a daily basis.

the incredible thing was that all of a sudden, these unknown soldiers in a distand land that i heard so much about on the news, took on faces. they were no longer unknown soldiers. they were no longer in a distant land. they were young men with families and pets and friends and worries and joys and concerns (much like you and i) and there they were, standing right in front of me. they had voices. i could see them with my own eyes and suddenly they went from characters in the news to real living human beings that are valued by God.

then today i read THIS story in the news, yet again.

as i read it i was deeply upset and thought to myself, ‘i hope it wasn’t one of those boys i met in the airport.’


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