Silence.

Yesterday, my World Religions class started watching Schindler's List.  This is not a fun way for me to spend a week.

As a general rule, I don't go to movies.  I don't watch movies.  (Yes, my brother is a movie critic.  The irony is not lost on me.)

I am incredibly sensitive to movies.  Movies get in my mind, and I can't always get them out.  I don't want to watch violence.  I don't want to watch sex.  I don't want to watch children be neglected, abandoned, or abused.  I don't want to watch people suffering at the hands of other people.  I don't want to watch rape.  I don't want to watch children become orphans, or parents bury their children. I don't want to watch infidelity, and I don't want to watch it be glorified in the name of romance.  I don't want to listen to people swear.  And I certainly don't want to watch any of it for 2+ hours.  None of that is entertaining to me.  And, when you eliminate movies with these themes (or moments), it leaves very little to watch.  It leaves Barney the Purple Dinosaur.

**Let's be clear.  There's no judgement.  
You follow your convictions.  We're still friends.**

With all of that being said, I can tear through any autobiography without complaint.  I can handle a documentary without issue.  How is that even possible?  My self-analysis hasn't explained it yet.  If someone would like to give it a whirl, I'd love an explanation.

When it came that time in the my class's study of Judaism, I knew that we had to watch Schindler's List.  Yes, it has historical accuracy issues, but it's grasp of the Holocaust is real.  I had no idea how I was going to handle it.  Was my mind going to feel movie, or was it going to think it was a documentary?

We're on day 2.  We spent 30 minutes yesterday, and I did ok.  No problems.  Then, I came home last night and watched the next 50 minutes to preview the movie.  And, after 50 minutes, I started dry heaving.  It's disgusting.  Not the movie, but the truth of it.

One part of my brain- the part that protects me- wants me to call it just a movie.  Or pretend the Holocaust never happened.  Or tell me that it would never happen again.  To mentally leave the whole thing in 1945.

But, you see, I have this other part of my brain.

I learned I had this other part during an episode of NCIS.  The episode was about a little girl, who happened to be blind, who had been kidnapped.  I wanted to turn off the episode because that's a no-no topic for me.  But, this Voice said, "Don't you understand that people live in this horror?  They can't turn the channel."

It's this part of my brain that allows me to jump into people's lives and cry with them.  I do not lack for empathy. Boundaries? I've got none.

It's that part of my brain that looks at the terror and asks ugly questions.   Sometimes, it has to face ugly answers.

How did 13 million people die?  6 million Jews?  How does the world let that happen?

How?

People let it happen.

They ignored it because it didn't involve them- economically or personally.

They looked the other way because they'd bought some lie about "well, that's what they deserve."

They chose to let it be because they didn't have the courage to get involved.

They decided their family's safety was more important.

That's the part of my brain that caused my stomach to revisit my lunch.

It's the part of the brain that makes me confident that turning a blind eye on human suffering doesn't make me safer.  It makes me complicit.

Tomorrow, we going to watch another 50-minute segment.  And, to be honest, this portion is easier to watch.  There is less killing.  Fewer victims.  Less emotional.  With those thoughts, my stomach begins to churn a little.  It makes me wonder if within me is someone who would have looked the other way because, "at least it's getting better."

****************

Tony just mentioned it's Three-Thing Thursday.

1.  What are you doing for those who are suffering in the world?  Whether it's your neighborhood or across the globe, what are you doing?

2.  Does your heart break for the "least of these" in the world?  Or, do they just make you feel thankful for where you are?

3.  Please tell me I'm not the only person who watches a 24-year-old movie about a 70-year-old event and weeps over how little has changed in the hearts of people.

Sorry.  Nothing perky tonight.

God, break my heart for what breaks Yours,
L

Comments

Melissa said…
Audrey and I are going to be visiting Auschwitz this summer. We will be passing through Poland on our way to The Czech Republic for a mission trip. We both are very interested in WWII history and have read many books on the subject, both fiction and non. When I was searching for books and movies for us to take in before our trip I found the following quote on a blog that was powerful to me.

"As a traveler, but most importantly as a human being, I felt the responsibility to see things for myself and talk about these places.
Auschwitz/Birkenau is a tough place to visit, but it’s important to keep the memory alive, to learn from the past and to stay alert as similar things are still happening today.

It’s probably easier to commemorate the millions of victims of the Holocaust after 70 years. It’s a lot less easy to look around and realize that we are surrounded by refugees treated like animals, desperate people with no help nor hope.

Isn’t that the same thing in the end? Don’t these people have the same right to justice and happiness as the Jewish had? I think we are all guilty if we choose to ignore these things."

-Clelia Mattana
panaMOM said…
Hey friend!!! Miss you!!!

1. I love that you are taking a missions trip and getting to visit historical sites!!!

2. That quotation so perfectly sums up my heart about the refugee situation perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing it with me!!

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