Cheryl Cook: ‘Do you see what I see?’
“Do you know what I know?
“Said the shepherd boy to the Mighty King
“A child, a child, shivers in the cold
“Let us bring him silver and gold.”
At one time in history, a family wandered in search of a place to rest. But there was no room for them at the inns.
So the baby was taken and placed in a tent orphanage.
The Christ Child in the year 2018 A.D. is the innocent babe spending Christmas Eve, not in the warmth of their mother’s arms in a manger, but in a canvas tent in the middle of Texas. Because there was no room for asylum seekers in this country.
Seventy years after our Marines traveled over land and over sea to free children held in concentration camps in Germany, the United States of America detains innocent children for months on end without access to their parents. Behold, this Christmas, we deliver tidings of tear gas canisters unto them.
And lo, the president has authorized the use of lethal force on the poor and weak at the border. If only he were as tough on murdering despots.
That babe who was born under a bright star in the Middle East over 2,000 years ago is reborn every year at Christmas. Christmas is about every single baby whose pure soul touches upon this earth, no matter where. And it’s about how we either cradle and care for them. Or imprison, tear gas, bomb, and starve them.
Seventeen years following the terrorist attacks on 9/11 we are literally dancing and dealing with the Saudis who supplied 15 of the 19 terrorists involved in the attack on our country. Osama Bin Laden was the son of a Saudi billionaire and a native of Saudi Arabia until 1992, when he moved to Sudan, then Afghanistan, where he declared war against the United States.
We are about to drop $100 billion of what the president described as “beautiful military equipment” under their tree. And nuclear weapon capability is on their wish list for 2019.
What are the Saudis doing so far with these American-made planes and weapons? Since the Saudi led coalition began bombing Yemen with American bombs in 2015, 5,000 innocent children have been killed and, according to Save the Children estimates, 85,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 have died of starvation.
Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in order to gain control of the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait so critical for oil transportation in the region, and has since blockaded the major port through which humanitarian aid can be delivered to suffering and starving children.
The Wall Street Journal journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia’s vicious war in Yemen and fled Saudi Arabia in 2017, only to be murdered this year at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Turkey. Our own CIA has concluded with “high confidence” that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince was responsible for ordering Khashoggi’s assassination.
The German, Dutch, Finnish, and Danish governments have each halted the sale of weapons to the Saudis as the United Nations warns of the worst famine in Yemen in 100 years.
And the USA in reply, echoed the joyous strains, “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.”
According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute, the U.S. is by far the biggest arms exporter in the world. Saudi Arabia and UAE are the second and third highest importers.
In the spirit of political corruption, Jared Kushner’s real estate tech company, Cadre, is awaiting Frankincense, Myrrh, and $100 million in private funds with capital from the East through Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In our own communities, the number of American students killed in school shootings in 2018 is greater than the number of U.S. military personnel killed in combat overseas this year. We could limit the kinds of guns sold and the people who buy them, but in the spirit of entrepreneurism … we offer the gift of bulletproof backpacks to your loved ones this year.
“Do you see what I see?”
Have we become a nation that worships weapons and values financial gain over human life?
May we all find our own bit of Bethlehem this season. Away from the corrosive toxicity of rants, taunts, indictments, corruption, shootings and lying that betray our collective soul.
Because 2,000 years after the birth the Christ child, starving children are taking their last shallow breaths while searching for Angels among the stars of another silent Middle Eastern night.
May that Babe show us at last: We are the Angels. We are the Shepherds. We were put here to protect the children, and to guide them and keep them from harm. Be that Angel. Be that Shepherd.
And, Lord, if you can find us Three Wise Men to run for president in 2020, it wouldn’t hurt, either.
Cheryl Cook lives in Penn Valley.
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