Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

Well life is not so good here at the moment.

In case you haven't heard the news recently, on Saturday night two soldiers who were due to go to Afghanistan the next morning were killed by gunmen as they stepped outside their barracks to take delivery of a pizza (the pizza delivery guys were injured too). We live no more than 10 miles from where it all happened. All day Sunday there was a cloud hanging over everyone; all the local churches were united in prayer: prayer for the families of the two soldiers; prayer for the men who did it; prayer that our highly prized peace process does not go off the rails. How we hoped that it was simply a "one-off".

Then last night, gunmen struck again, this time killing a policeman. So now we are praying that we are not, as one politician put it, staring down into the abyss again.

You can read about it here

We Northern Irish people really do not like talking about what is euphemistically called "The Troubles". This is a beautiful country and we are a friendly, warm and welcoming people and we don't like revisiting what was a dark, dark time in our history. While not everyone may have lost a close friend or relation, everyone certainly knows someone else who did: we are all, at best, only one step removed from personal tragedy. I grew up "used" to hearing about bombs and bullets and, occasionally, hearing the odd blast. The current generation of children know nothing of this and I thought it was all behind us.

I really hope the past few days have been an aberration and that we are not heading back down a road that only a minority seem intent on making us travel.


Herb of Grace said...

Oh wow. I will be praying. I hadn't heard about this yet, as we are in a sickness-induced fog and have not heard any news of the outside world for several days now.

Susannah Forshey said...

So, so sorry to hear about this. Senseless violence, and seemingly endless (surrounding the Middle East issues, anyhow)..... Come quickly, Lord Jesus!