Her name, Zahoor, means “roses” in English.

Our medical clinic roams this part of the world providing care, and today it’s her turn. Mama places her little bouquet on our doctors’ table, and they do more than the minimal, more than just their jobs—they adore her. We all adore her.

The last few days of travel in Iraq have been more death-filled than usual. While delivering hygiene kits in a recently liberated area, we saw an ISIS fighter strung up in a village square, crucifixion-style. We visited the mass graves of Yazidis, who were targeted for extermination by ISIS, and heard stories of survivors. We saw the new frontlines of a conflict that has nothing to do with ISIS and everything to do with militias, power, and money—and it’s all at the expense of the local people.

Yet through all of that, there’s an ancient theme—maybe you already know what I’m going to say?

Life insists.

Beauty insists.

Love insists.

Nothing good will ultimately be denied, and the great God of love is everywhere, calling every right thing into existence.

But every time we drive away from trips like this, I’m reminded that this really isn’t about WHAT we believe. This is about HOW we believe. How will we choose to live? I’m honestly not interested in which theological truths or verses or proverbs we can debate or recite.

If we can’t tell it to that crucified ISIS fighter, to those survivors of sexual enslavement and genocide, if we can’t recite it over those mass graves full of kindergarteners’ bones—if we can’t live it every single day with the firm belief that sweet Zahoor is worth it, that Love will always insist, and that we can live full of agency to make this world a better home… then we’re wasting our time.

But Zahoor is worth it.
Love will.
And we can.

 

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