Here O Israel
The Bali bombing, then the bombing in Jakarta has brought terrorism so much closer to us here in Singapore. Faith and I had originally planned for a trip to Bintan, a popular tourist island in Indonesia, this weekend but chose instead to stay home.
We used to read and hear about Israel over the news. Terrorist bombs going off, or the Israeli military cracking down on the terrorist cells made headlines. As the years passed those headlines turned into sidelines, and the constant drone on the radio became a noise we had learned to ignore. I remember Goldfing who lives in Tel Aviv, a fellow Dalnet #irchelp operator back in the heyday, telling me over IRC how he had to log off from the net because bombs were flying overhead from where he lived. It hit me then that the news of terrorism in Israel which we had become so immune to had real-life consequences for many people who were in the thick of it.
Bali and Jakarta aren’t more than a couple of hours away by boat. This threat of lunacy has come to us, and living in its shadow has cast a cloud of depression and despair, especially over our younger ones.
Though I am much inclined to pin it on the actions of a particular George, I know that it is result of many factors, some foreseeable and others not. “Be patient, therefore, brethren…”, the apostle James tells us in the last chapter of his Epistle. He wrote this with regard to the oppression of the poor. So in the same manner I am reminded to calm down - it is far too tempting to pick up my own pitchfork and charge into the fray blindly.
I live in Singapore, a secularist country surrounded by Muslim countries on the north and south. Though we’d hate to admit it, a sense of uncertainty has crept into our lives. The government will no doubt tell us (like it has many times before in different scenarios) to mind our own business and pretend nothing happened in the hope that all will blow over.
Take this time to live well. Not materially, but spend to your days wisely. Tell the ones you love how much you love them. Work out the damaged relationships in your life. Leave no room for regret. There simply isn’t time.