Thursday, February 7, 2008

Death in Baghdad Marketplaces - Death by Disability

On February 3, 2008 two women strolled through two different markets in Baghdad, Iraq. Many more people other than the two women were in these two markets that day, but these two were distinctive for several reasons. Postmortem examination of their bodies reveals that both had Down syndrome. Both also had bombs strapped to their bodies: one in a vest, the other in a backpack. They passed by security and evaded inspection because they were known to be local beggars. Also, because they were woman male security forces were reluctant to search them due to the restrictions of Islamic law.

Apparently people with disabilities often beg in Baghdad's markets so there was nothing particularly unusual about these two women except for the small but significant detail that they were both walking bombs. Apparently the bombs strapped to their bodies were detonated by remote control.

The women probbly didn't even know they were walking bombs. Like most Down syndrome people, they were most likely very compliant and sweet-natured so would be unlikely to process the danger both to themselves and others.

The markets targeted are interesting. One was a "pet market" and the other was a "pigeon market." Neither would logically cross the radar as targets for terrorists. That's the nature of this terrorist enemy - there is no value of life and the rules of engagement constantly change. The only thing that counts is accomplishing their terrorism goals. They strike in totally unexpected places and ways.

The total killed in the two bombings was close to 100 people with many more wounded. In the process, shops, stalls and wares were also destroyed. One commander on the ground reported that these particular bombings are a new "low" for al-Qaeda.

The devastating aftermath of these blasts stands in stark contrast to what God calls us to do and be in our own marketplaces. Rather than walking death, God calls us to be walking life (restoration) in a world gone mad. That only happens as God's restoring grace invades one heart at a time! Then restored hearts "stroll" through the marketplaces of our world spreading light and life rather than death and destruction. And that's precisely why there is a Restoration Church starting in the South Hills of Pittsburgh!

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