Blood Diamonds   Leave a comment

(This was originally posted on December 14, 2006… shortly after I saw the movie “Blood Diamonds.”)

1991-2002: 200,000 killed in Sierra Leone
1989, 1999, 2003: 200,000 killed in Liberia
1986-1990: 1,000,000 killed in Mozambique
1996-present: 4,000,000 killed in Democratic Republic of Congo
1975-1978: 1,500,000 killed in Ethiopia
1994: 1,000,000 killed in Rwanda
1983-present: 2,600,000 killed in Sudan

Death. Death is a part of life. The ultimate statistic is that 10 out of 10 people will die. That’s the calloused view that we often have in our lives. But what is the cause of death in America? The two main causes are heart disease and cancer. But look carefully into the statistic listed above. These people did not die, they were killed. These people did not catch a disease, they caught a machete. These people were brutally slaughtered. A majority of those deaths are women and children. So then, what is the cause of death in Sierra Leone? Liberia?… Sudan?

Their list is captured in one category: me. People are dying in Rwanda because I don’t care enough to act. People are dying in Sudan because I want my gas to be less than $3.00 a gallon. People are dying in Sierra Leone because I want a nice-looking diamond for my wife. I’ve killed millions of souls because its worth the price of my comfort and my luxury. And you’re just as guilty as I am.

Last night, Ed and I went to watch “Blood Diamonds.” Afterwards, we were so numb that we barely spoke on our way back. And Ed has recently commented: “I will never buy a diamond ring. Not after watching this. I felt like screaming my guts out when the movie was over. By far one of the most meaningful films I have ever seen in my life.”

I felt the same way. I am not ashamed to say that I sat down and wept after watching this movie. But I am ashamed to say one thing…

I don’t care.

Next week, this issue will seem more trivial in my life. And in a month, this will be but a fleeting memory. The tearing of my heart seems to have a warranty of about a month. After winter break, I will go about my day because these people are dying far away and it doesn’t make much of a difference in my life. Why should I bother myself with their troubles?

The ultimate statistic is that 10 out of 10 people will die. And many of those people are bound to hell. Many in Africa have died and are in hell. But it breaks my heart to know the way they left. They had a glimpse of hell on earth before going there for eternity. Women were raped repeatedly before their children, and then killed. Men had their limbs chopped off and left to writhe in a pool of their blood. Children were forced to kill their parents and ended up dying, themselves. And I start to think… God, please spare them!!! I mean, think of the things they had to suffer? In the film, one of the most heart-breaking lines was: “God has left Africa a long time ago.”

But then I dwell on the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man, even those victims in Africa. And, as much as it breaks my heart, many of those men, women, and children were enemies of God and comdemned to hell.

And I don’t care.

I just don’t care. I say I do. I talk to others about it. I might even join some facebook groups that declare my outrage against the atrocities happening in the Darfur region of Sudan. But I don’t really care. There is only one response for a caring Christian.

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

Why did people die in Hurricane Katrina and lose everything? Why did millions of people die in India in a flood? Why did Hutu kill over 900,000 Tutsi in Rwanda? Why are the Arabs killing the African Darfurians in Sudan?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Because God longs for them to turn and seek Him. And this is how our heart should respond to lost sinners in a fallen world. Why should we share the gospel? Because God will use it to change hearts and win souls for the kingdom of God.

Just think of what that truly means. We don’t have to go to Africa in order to save sinners. We live all around them. We are to proclaim gospel truth wherever we are… in UCLA, for now.

What if God softened our calloused hearts enough so that we would go and talk to a guy sitting alone on campus? What if God uses that conversation to save this guy’s soul? What if he becomes a missionary in Sudan?

The international community has been trying to figure out how to stop these conflicts all around Africa. But they’re missing the point. The only way to stop the bleeding is to patch up the diseased heart. The only remedy is the surgical patchwork of the Lord. Just think about what amazing things God can do in Africa with one soul converted at UCLA (or whatever college campus or work place you are a part of).

But that begins with me. Do I care?


Posted September 2, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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