I stood yesterday over the huge bin of shoes, the smell of old leather hanging in the air like a dim memory. A young woman standing near me was weeping. I saw a small shoe among the thousands that the Nazis took from the Jews. It looked about the size that one of my grandsons wears.
The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC provides visitors with a startling, heart-breaking experience. That such a horrific series of evil events could occur in recent history is almost unthinkable, but the museum refuses to let the story die.
People have to ask, after witnessing the accounts of the genocides of World War II: "Where was God?" I asked it a number of times myself. But it occured to me that maybe God was doing what he always does--calling the church and the world to enact his justice, to rescue the oppressed.
Maybe too many weren't listening. Many German leaders--leaders in both the church and the state--listened to Hitler, but not to God. Nations--including the US--shut their ears and refused to take in the persecuted strangers, allowing immigration limits to trump the call to alleviate human suffering and to provide care for the stranger.
Others, however, did listen. Denmark protected its Jewish citizens from Nazi demands. The Dominican Republic took in 100,000 Jewish refugess. Faithful Christians and people of good conscience protected as many as they could, often suffering harsh consequences for their courageous acts of rescue.
I believe that God was at work during that dark time in world history, not only suffering with the oppressed, but also calling out for people to stop the machinery of terror and rescue those targeted by Hitler's insane, murderous schemes.
I wonder what our ears are closed to right now? I wonder what my ears . . .
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