Last week in Juarez two young reporters for El Diario de Juarez were gunned down outside of a mall on their lunch break. This attack cast a dark shadow over the largest newspaper in one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
In response the editors of the newspaper ran the following statement on the front page of the paper:
“Leaders of the different organizations that are fighting for control of Ciudad Juarez: The loss of two reporters from this publishing house in less than two years represents an irreparable sorrow for all of us who work here, and, in particular, for their families,” the editorial said. “We ask you to explain what you want from us, what we should try to publish or not publish, so we know what to expect.”
As I read this statement I sense the helplessness and fear of the editors. Living under constant threats of violence and intimidation has taken its toll. The press appears to be giving in and acknowledging who really controls the streets of Juarez.
The violence along the border of Texas has opened my eyes to the pleas of the Psalmist in Psalm 10. Earlier in my life I would have seen his cries as symbolic of the struggle between good and evil. Now I read them as if I was reading a statement in the morning paper.
The Psalmist wrote:
1 [a]Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts of the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
he is haughty and your laws are far from him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will shake me;
I’ll always be happy and never have trouble.”
7 His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent,
watching in secret for his victims.
9 He lies in wait like a lion in cover;
he lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten;
he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil man;
call him to account for his wickedness
that would not be found out.
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
As we pray for no more violence along the border, call upon the LORD our King to defend the fatherless and the oppressed so that “man may terrify no more!”