A little while ago, my World History class went on a field study to the Capitol and during that trip we visited the Holocaust Museum. Below are my thoughts about it and a poem I wrote for extra credit. Later we had to complete a word study for the word ‘War’ and below I also have part of that.
What struck me the most during the walk through the four floors were the words they had on the walls of what people said. They all made it more realistic and hit me that these were real actual people that this happened to. I think sometimes when we face such horrible news like this, we tend to shut it out and pretend in our mind that it was less real or not as bad as it actually was just to make ourselves feel better. We hide the truth away so we don't have to face the horror of it all. Those words, though, made it nearly impossibly to push the thoughts out of my head. It gave the people who died voices, bodies, individuality and souls. It took the numbers of how many died and changed them from mere numbers to actually people, human beings, people created in God’s image, that were destroyed.
The room of shoes was also striking. It was hard to not look at the shoes without wanting to cry. Each shoe was unique and belonged to someone who died. The uniqueness of the shoe somehow placed a human face on it. They are actually pieces from the actual event. Shoes have so much meaning for a person, they can describe someone in so many ways, and a room full of them that belong to dead people was like seeing the actual dead people piled up in the room, which is exactly what happened in the Holocaust. There was a description above the shoes that said, “We are the shoes. We are the last witnesses./We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers/From Prague, Paris and Amsterdam./And because we are only made of fabric and leather/And not of blood and flesh,/Each one of us avoided the Hellfire.” This also hit me and helped to put faces to those who died. There was also this horrifying smell from the shoes. They smelled old, musty, and once-human-filled. And the worst part is that, how many shoes there were in this room (and there were many), this amount falls short in comparison to how many there actually were. Each pair of shoes is another life that was taken. It is devastating.
There are really no words that I can use to describe how this all hit me. I cannot tell you how sad it made me, how angry, how solemn, how humble, how dependent on God and how inspired to keep history going and fight the fight to keep this country far from this, this made me.
Signs Of No Return (or Heaven's Victory)
By Margaret Sensenig
Built from the bottom up by Book
To be inspired from above
Freedom for the people they took
Peace like an eagle, golden dove
The sweet, sweet holy love does live
In honored words, "We the people"
Those eternal life He did give
Lead this country to the steeple
World around gives way to sweet war
So deceived by angel of light
Taken captive, what should have tore
The heart who does claim wrong from right
A people fooled, a race erased
In the name of 'God', ruthless god
Was the thought that steadied and paced
No grace but servant of the rod
The ground cries out for souls are lost
Blood and bone innocent covers
One who orders must pay the cost
Of the evil that still hovers
Death stained minds grieve for this done wrong
That do swear to "never again"
And he with a hundred 'men' strong
Erase the horrors of that end
Eagle, golden dove's mind goes blank
Of the fruit from which it had grew
He wills to redo the past stank
From where all of his hell had blew
If once a pure people see not
The signs of an 'Adolf return'
When evil completely forgot
Then taken over by iron
Followers of His righteous name
Must awake from their stifled daze
Share the love in their hearts the same
To forever at His face gaze
My brothers! Brothers! I do cry
Inside know truth of where you stand
Take her back with a noble try
Her fruit we must bare on this land
It’s a worthy fight. We must fight!
Though the end is of darkness one
We fight the good fight for what's right
For Heaven's victory has won
Think and Reflect
War is a conflict between people that tends to lead to fighting, both physically and verbally. It is the fighting between people groups, and often involves the harming and killing of human life. It is a combination of many battles fought over for a similar purpose. It often involves weapons used by soldiers. War can also be fought on a spiritual front. This is the kind of war that takes place everyday and everyone is involved in, whether they know it or not. There is a war inside of ourselves, fighting between what is right and wrong, between sin and following God. On a greater level, God is fighting a war for our souls, however that war has already been won but yet it is still being fought over. The final outcome will be God’s victory. On a worldwide scale, there are wars between nations, global wars, wars between countries. These wars, like every kind of war, start in the hearts of individuals and grow into an outward action that affects thousands of people. Wars usually generate from a disagreement. They generally consist of the killing of people to gain what they want, whether it is more land, terrorist attacks on other nations, an agreement that was broken or was not formed, and the list goes on. Also, there can be war within a nation. Sometimes war is necessary, but only when it is fought as a defense. These wars are generally when there is a split within the nation that opposes each other. Such as racial rights, revolutions, discrimination, freedom, a new leader, civil wars and the list goes on. Local wars can be anything from actual fires being shot over a disagreement to arguments in the courthouse over issues. It is a conflict that needs to be mended, and war tends to be the outcome. There can be religious wars, or cultural wars, which are fought between people of different mindsets and beliefs or different ways of life. There can even be “war” among different churches of different beliefs. War is a constant battle within the family today. The children rebel, the parents put on authority, the children submit, and then they rebel again and the cycle continues. Because of the Fall, war is now a natural way of life. There is something we do not like, so we fight until we get it or “die” trying. War can also be fought from an individual’s viewpoint, and is fought everyday. There is a battle between the sin in our hearts and our minds, which know the truth. We daily fight this battle to do what is right, true and just. Everyday we need to put on our battle gear and be prepared for a new set of troubles to fight off. And the most important battle of all is the battle that has already been won by God; the spiritual war. This is a war we also fight everyday, and we have God as our leader, our chief, and our general to guide us through this battle, like he does in any kind of war. God has won the ultimate war, the war for our very lives.
God is not against the general term of ‘war’. He is against unjustifiable war, just like he is against any other sin that man is capable of. But “the Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name,” (Exodus 15:3). An aspect of God is war, so how could He be against a thing that is apart of Him, for He is perfect? God has fought a war for our very lives. War occurs because of the fall of man. It began when Satan rebelled against God and “declared war” on him. War, on an earthly scale, starts in the human heart with anger, pride, jealousy and many other things and spreads to those around you until it creates a war, either a national, physical war or verbal, mental war. So many wars are fought for unjust reasons. No war is justifiable, unless it is fought in the defense of life and to end a war. No war that is started on the offensive side is justifiable, but the defense is. A man is called to protect his home, people to defend their country, Christians to defend their faith. John Adams once said, “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.” He was making a sacrifice to the things he had to deal in and with so that his children could have a brighter future than what he was living in. He wanted to create a world where the next generation could live in peace and freedom to love God. Why can’t there be peace all of the time? Why can’t we all just get along and stop all this fighting? Maybe if we all agree not to fight again, then there will be no more wars, right? Wrong. Not on this earthly world, at least. Why not? Well, because of the Fall and man’s sin, perfect peace is unreachable. No peoples can be “perfect” enough to never have war again. War is a product of our sin so it cannot be completely abolished by humans. If every human on the earth agreed to never fight again, how long do you think that would last? Man’s heart is so fickle that it is constantly changing, lying and backstabbing. And out of all those people, there is bound to be one person who will refuse to commit to peace. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” This is true, we will someday reach complete peace through unarmed truth and unconditional love, but it will be the unarmed truth and unconditional love of God. The only way for complete peace to be reached is through Jesus Christ. There will be no peace on this earth until Jesus returns and makes all things right. True peace comes from God, and God alone, and that is a glorious thought.