It breaks my heart. The little boy asking over and over again “will I die?” He doesn’t understand what’s happening. Where everyone is and why he is in so much pain. The incredible pain, the tears and most of all the utter confusion on that little boy’s face.
I have read many books about war. Novels about the second World War. Fake people with fake lives. Somehow with good endings usually. Then there are the real stories. About real people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Corrie ten Boom or Anne Frank. Stories about heroic people, who made a difference and are still an inspiration to others. Yet what we often forget is these people were children growing up in a time of wars and economic depression. A time of populist leaders, belonging to minority groups and being fearful. Some stories come closer. From family, my grandparents, the local museum. Stories about our town and the people that lived here. Children that had to go into hiding for the bombs and had traumatic memories to planes long after the war was over.
But it isn’t history. This happens now. As I am writing this, bombs are falling in cities like Aleppo. No more functional hospitals. I know people from that city. I know people who have children, brothers, sisters, wives, cousins in cities like Aleppo. Who go to bed every single night not knowing if their loved ones will survive the next day. It’s real and it’s breaking my heart.
It’s breaking my heart even more that I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t know. The only thing is that I can pray for that little boy with chloride gas in his eyes. Praying it will be over soon. So he can go back to school and play outside with his friends, like he ought to do.