By all accounts, a brave man died. But some dispute if he was good.
Yet all condemn his murder.
Suspicion falls on those who doubt. All his life they marred his name.
A Shiite in the south, the militia let him be.
And now most think they killed him.
But no one says so. None accuse. In truth they do not know.
Unknown gunmen pulled the trigger. His family says they beat him first.
He spoke against militia arms. He criticized its foreign ties.
But this is not all that Lokman did. He built an archive for the war.
Every sect contests the history. With documents they now can fight.
And maybe Lebanon can know.
Maybe Lebanon can heal.
Maybe Lokman now can rest?
The nation does not have the luxury. Politics will take no pause.
Christian allies signal distance. Their Shiite partnership has failed.
Helpful here, successful there—”It did not build a state of law.”
Do they tie this to Lokman? Do they tie to the port?
Germans uncovered a stash of explosives. Authorities busted a shipment of drugs.
Six months from the blast there still is no justice.
But two others were killed who had snooped around.
God, the nation hangs its head in horror. Resignation fills the soul.
Add to the list of targeted killings. Another assassin will never be known.
All authorities promised otherwise.
Like they promised for the port.
God, what do you want from the Lebanese people?
Will this time be different? From faith, must they hope?
Or does faith permit only the hope in hereafter? That one day, injustice will all be put right?
Shallow comfort for his family. Little help to fix the state.
So should the nation rage in anger? March again to Martyrs’ Square?
That hope, also, has faded.
Some look to Washington, Riyadh, or Paris. Others to Ankara, Damascus, Tehran.
Hope not in princes, your scripture says.
Then the Lebanese mountains? Lift up your eyes. Help comes from their maker.
To rest in their glory. To reside in their shade.
For refuge from virus. For reminder of you.
Ah, but God, it does not settle. Our lives are left disquiet here.
Already you can give your comfort. Not yet does it assuage us whole.
And Lebanon is left in the lurch.
Your kingdom coming. God, we long.
May we work on its behalf.
May we not confuse your aim.
We honor you in common good. Order, justice praise your name.
But something more is all eternal: The soul that now is in despair.
If Lebanon rises it may fall tomorrow.
The kings of the moment the next one will pass.
Yet the life you redeem is kept everlasting. The joy you bestow is abundant and true.
Give this to Lebanon—all those who seek it.
And with it: Hope.
For Lokman. For justice. For love.
Note: The family has since conducted an autopsy, and accepts the result that no signs of torture were found on his body.
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Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.
It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.
It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.
How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.
Sometimes prayer can generate more prayer. While mine is for general principles, you may have very specific hopes for Lebanon. You are welcome to post these here as comments, that others might pray with you as you place your desires before God.
If you wish to share your own prayer, please adhere to the following guidelines:
1) The sincerest prayers are before God alone. Please consult with God before posting anything.
2) If a prayer of hope, strive to express a collective encouragement.
3) If a prayer of lament, strive to express a collective grief.
4) If a prayer of anger, refrain from criticizing specific people, parties, sects, or nations. While it may be appropriate, save these for your prayers alone before God.
5) In every prayer, do your best to include a blessing.
I will do my best to moderate accordingly. Thank you for praying for Lebanon and her people.