The film, Schindler’s List, opens with the lighting of a sabbath candle. Smoke from the candle is transformed into a cloud of steam from a German locomotive bringing Jews into the Polish city of Krakow, where they will eventually be massacred by the Nazis. Later in the film, another engine belches a similar cloud as it brings some of “Schindler’s Jews” into Auschwitz. The train’s fumes mix with flakes of human ash billowing out of the Auschwitz crematorium. And in the meantime, the film has often shown us the smoky discharge of Nazi guns used to kill Jews individually and en masse.
Particularly affecting is the trembling of a young boy as he hears the gunshots from the “liquidation” of Krakow’s Jewish Quarter. The terror felt by that boy must be the same terror felt by the nineteen children mercilessly gunned down in Uvalde’s elementary school. The murder of innocent children, whether in Krakow, Auschwitz, or Uvalde brings tears to the eyes and a tightness to the throat.
And where is God in all this? Certainly, in Schindler, who saved the lives of hundreds of his Jewish workers. Certainly, in the Jews themselves, bound together by suffering and love. Certainly, in the two Uvalde teachers who gave their lives trying to protect their children. Certainly, in the families of the children, also united by suffering and love.
God is not all-powerful. God relies on human goodness to overcome human evil. At terrible cost, the Nazis were defeated. What will be the cost of overcoming the epidemic of gun violence that rages in this country? How will good people prevail in the struggle with the evil forces that—truth to tell—are found in all of us?
~ Richard Russell
This blog was set up to post content of interest to Old Chatham Quaker members and attenders. Posts related to one's own personal spiritual journey, reports based on interviews with others, and reflections on Quaker-related topics are welcome. Posts by individuals are personal expressions and do not necessarily reflect those of the Meeting as a whole.
Guidelines for posting on website blog:
Submit to member of Communications committee; committee has editorial oversight over all content posted on the Meeting website.
Be respectful of the nature of vocal ministry given in Meeting for Worship or other settings and any private conversations about spiritual matters.
Cite source of any image or other external content submitted.