Please forgive the slightly different look to this post. You can see how The River Walk has evolved as this one is actually from four years ago today. I would never have guessed, when writing this at the time I would be living here less than two years later.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. (2 Samuel 22:7)
Relate: These things have a way of snowballing. There’s only one true park in downtown Istanbul and recently it was announced that they were going to raze the park to build a new shopping mall styled after a 19’th century military barracks. I’m not sure just how that works but perhaps you have a better imagination than me. Anyways, a few protesters decided to stage a sit in at the park. A few police showed up and tried to clear them out. More people began flooding in to support the protesters. More cops came to clear out the growing crowd. The police started using tear gas and pepper spray. The protesters responded with bricks and barricades. Protests sparked up in other cities, then in smaller towns. It is about far more than saving a park at this point. Five days in, the rallying cry in every corner of Turkey is for Erdogan, the Prime Minister who is changing the laws that he might stay in power, to step down. Obviously far more than just some discontent over a park has been simmering under the surface.
Over and over again history demonstrates how this happens. It was almost a hundred years ago when some unheard of archduke named Ferdinand was shot and WWI kicked off. Obviously there was far more simmering under the surface. In the same way there was far more going on than a tired lady refusing to give up her seat when Rosa Parks said “no”. Discontent grows and builds beyond what is visible. Pressure builds until it becomes too much. A seemingly random event sparks a fire and an individual, a people, a nation cry out in their distress, “enough!”
React: What does it take to spark such a fire in me? Is there a divine discontent at the injustice I see in my world? Are my eyes even open? Has my heart been attuned to break with the things that break God’s heart? How much do I care about the lost? How far will I let things go before I cry out to God in my distress? Of one thing I am absolutely certain, when I cry out to Him, He hears. He has chosen, for some reason, to operate through our prayers. Sometimes it takes distress to get us praying.
God, I pray now for Turkey and Syria. A yearning for justice has descended in both nations into chaos. As government and protesters clash, it is the innocent who often become victims. I pray for their protection. I pray for Your faithful church in these areas. I pray foremost for their protection but beyond that I pray that they would have opportunities to demonstrate You as a God of both Justice and Mercy. I pray that a just peace would come to these nations and that, through it all, You would be glorified.