Seeing what we do not like to see . . .

The following was an article in USA Today regarding the Brussels attack . . .

“Help us.”

Ketevan Kardava, 56, a special correspondent in Brussels, was in the airport in when the first explosion went off a meter and a half from where she was standing.

Her first reaction was to take out her camera as glass, debris and smoke swirled in the air around her.

The first photo she took — of two women, bloody and covered in debris — has spread around the world as an iconic image of the horror of Tuesday’s terror attacks.

For now, Kardava is safe at home, but she speaks with a shaky voice, repeating “I was not able to help them.”

“Everyone was covered in blood. They lost their legs. All of them,” she said. “I kept looking to see my legs. With my hands, I wanted to feel them.”

Kardava says as soon as she realized she was alive, she screamed for help.

“What do you do in this situation if you’re a journalist? Help? Ask doctor to come? Or take a photo?” she said, pausing to compose herself. “In that very moment, I realized that to show the world what was happening in this moment of terror, a photo was more important.”

“The people I photographed were not able to run and I wasn’t able to help them. It was very, very difficult for me to leave them. I was the only person on my feet. I wanted to help all of them but I couldn’t. I left them. I had to — we expected a third explosion.”

“I don’t know how I did it. I don’t know how I took that photo. As a journalist, it was my instinct. I posted it on Facebook and wrote ‘Explosion … Help us.’”

Now, Kardava says her view of the world has changed.

“I’ve lived here for 8 years and I’ve covered a lot of things, even the Paris terror attacks. But now I know.  It can be anywhere, any time. Now I realize the meaning of the phrase ‘terrorism has no boundaries.'”

She says she doesn’t know how she will carry on with her career as a photojournalist.

“How can I go to the airport next time? We are journalists. We are fearless, right? Time will come, and it will be necessary for me to go to the same airport and leave from the same metro station where the second explosion was. How can I take the metro and go to the airport? How can I go to the very place I felt such terrible things. I don’t know. I don’t know.”

The journalist asks, “How can I go to the very place that I felt such terrible things? I don’t know.”

This is the week when as followers of Christ we go to the place where we feel and experience “such terrible things.” The cross.

As we stand at the cross – we feel things we do not like to feel . . .
-Anger at those who take out the evil in their hearts/souls on the innocent.
-Disgust at those who DO have power to do something but wash their hands of the situation by looking the other way (aka – Pilate prior to the crucifixion).
-Fear – realizing we are not in control and evil can strike any time, any place.

Yet – if we will walk to the cross . . . looking at:

  • The people gripped with evil
  • People with apathy
  • Situations that are driven by narcissism and hearts of anger and hate rather than love

And . . . while we are there . . . IF we look with the eyes of Christ – we realize that despite the fear, anger, and disgust we also can feel other things . . .

  • We can feel pain and desertion.
    “My God, My God – why have you forsaken me.”
  • We can feel forgiveness.
    “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
  • We can realize we are responsible for more than just ourselves.
    “Mother, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”
  • We can find hope despite the pain and darkness, knowing the worst things are never the last things . . .
    “It is finished!”

And . . .

  • We can feel peace.
    “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”

May we each journey to the cross with the eyes of Jesus . . . seeing that which we don’t necessarily like to see.